Shipwreck by Francis Danby ARA, 1793-1861. Oil on canvas. 1843. Formerly Jamesd White Collection.

This situation of the ship destroyed against the coast is always laden with irony because it demonstrates how even the approach to land, which should be an approach to safety, can cause final destruction. Variations upon this very popular pictorial subject appear in George Morland's undated Shipwreck (private coll.) and identically entitled works by Francis Danby (1843, James White Coll., Dublin) and Eugene Isabey (n.d., Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design), Homer's Wrecked Schooner (c.1903, St Louis Art Museum) and Turner's Wreck of a Transport Ship (c. 1810, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon). — George P. Landow


Adams, Eric. Francis Danby, Varieties of Poetic Landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973.

Landow, George P. "Images, Situations, and Structures," Images of Crisis: Literary Iconology, 1750 to the Present. Boston and London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982, pp. 37-41.

Last modified 22 May 2007