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"The Melancholy Loss of His Majesty's Ship Sirius, Wreck'd on Norfolk Island, on Friday Noon March 19th 1790"

Artist: Raper, George
Created: [1790]
Dimensions: 31.8 x 47.5 cm
Reference: Raper Drawing - no. 22

 

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View from the shore of Norfolk Island, showing HMS Sirius foundering in rough seas, with Nepean and Phillip Islands in the distance. The Sirius is depicted at the point at which the masts were broken, bringing down the rigging and sails which form billowing, scroll-like shapes. The English flag and pennant are still flying from the main mast. A second ship, the Supply, can be seen behind the Sirius in safer waters. The waves are represented as undulating horizontal bars composed of almost vertical, dark-grey S-shaped lines over a pale blue-grey wash. A barrier of black rocks protects the calmer water closer to the shore, which is represented by a gradated grey to blue wash overlaid with short horizontal lines. The sky is stained with a very faint pink wash on the horizon, and a band of blue wash towards the top, the shape of which echoes the waves below. The main shore to the left and the islands to the left and right of the ship are coloured grey, brown and olive-green with schematic pine trees. The drawing is framed with a thick black ink line and a triple-banded border, the central band of which is coloured with a pink wash and contains the title at the bottom. The signature and date are located in the inner band at lower right. Most of the outer band appears to have been lost through the drawing having been cropped.

 

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