This blog entry was re-presented, since the picture overlapped its borders. The answer to the querie it poses, will, be posted tomorrow.
How is this for a watercolour? The painter was 19th century English artist and explorer Sir George Back. Back, commanded the HMS Terror in 1836, and we can presume that this scene depicted the Terror, in the Canadian Arctic.
Randy Boswell of the Vancouver Sun writes:
HMS Terror and its sister ship, HMS Erebus, have been in the news this summer because of a Parks Canada-led search for the wrecks of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition.Apparently, the painting recently sold for $60,000 in a public auction in England to an unnamed Canadian Institution. Interestingly, Back's descendants didn't even know of the existence of the work.
The two vessels, then under the command of Royal Navy commander John Franklin, became locked in sea ice and were abandoned near King William Island in the late 1840s, eventually slipping beneath the waves in unknown location.
Its a pretty dramatic watercolour work. Its painted in a minimal palette and the struggle between the hot and cold colours parallells the dramatic struggle taking place it in the work.
The mystery behind the purchase lies in the fact that the "Canadian Institution" which bought it, remains unidentified.
Ok. Ladies and Gentlemen its time to place your bets? Who is the phantom purchaser?
Hmm. The National Gallery of Canada. (Not likely for they have no need for secrecy). How about, The Royal Canadian Navy? (Possibly, for they wouldn't want to advertise public money being spent in this way). Hey, it might look pretty good hanging on the wall of the Officer's Club on University Avenue, in Toronto.
To read Randy's column, please click here