A painting of North East interest by one of Britain’s best marine painters of the 19th Century is coming up for auction at Lawrences in Crewkerne on October 14th.
The signed canvas, which measures 65 by 105cm (25 x 41ins), was painted by John Wilson Carmichael and depicts shipping off Tynemouth, with the old priory ruins visible on the headland in the distance. Carmichael, who was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in January 1800, was the son of a ship’s carpenter. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London for 24 years, showing a total of 21 pictures there, from addresses in Newcastle and London. “He was a superb draughtsman and had a fine command of atmosphere too,” says Richard Kay, picture specialist at the auction room in Crewkerne. “Carmichael was brought up in a mariner’s home and lived by the coast for most of his life. His best works combine a thorough understanding of water and light with superbly accurate details in compositions that are engaging and realistic without ever looking contrived. He knew that he could not afford to let a single fault be apparent in his works as many of his buyers were seafaring men too. In this impressive picture, Carmichael’s ability to capture the choppy swell of the North Sea is vividly depicted.” Carmichael was devastated by the death of his son in 1862 and gave up showing his works. He retired to Scarborough and died there in May 1868
The painting has been in the collection of a Dorset family for many years and it is in fine condition. It is expected to make £10,000-15,000 at auction next month.