A Rough Passage

A Rough Passage by Charles Keene (1823-1891). Watercolour, gum Arabic and gouache, 12.75 x inches. Inscribed beneath the mount “by Charles Keene” and verso “This picture was given by Charles Keene to Edward Plimpton.” Courtesy of the Maas Gallery. [Click on image to enlarge it]

The Portrait of the Artist (Charles Keene's self-portrait shows him at his easel), Manson, facing p. 166.

Although the Punch cartoonist Charles Keene worked mostly in monochrome, he occasionally painted ambitious pictures in watercolour. His work was greatly admired by artists as diverse as Millais, Degas, Menzel and Sickert. In 1860, Keene and his friend the artist Henry Stacy Marks chartered a Gravesend 'hatch boat' for a cruising holiday of the Medway and Thames estuaries, where they may have encountered the foul weather shown here, with the tiller lashed and the boat heeling over on a broad reach.

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Manson, J. B. The Tate Gallery. London: T. C. and E. C. Jack, 1934. Internet Archive. From a copy in the Robarts Library, University of Toronto. Web. 23 February 2021.

Last modified February 2021 (portrait added)