Cargo/passenger ship ss Venetian (Ellerman Line) working at moorings Palermo Harbour, Sicily, watercolour and gouache on paper, double signed Ellis Silas. c1950.
Dimensions : Frame : 424mm x 565mm x 18mm. Image : 285mm x 424mm. Weight : 1.900kg net.
Condition/Notes : Good/very good. The watercolour and gouache study of a cargo/passenger ship working at moorings in Palermo Harbour is in very good condition with very good colour and no damage; there is what could be a small water-mark in the sky above the rh cliff edge or possibly another representation of smoke from the funnels. The study is a magnificent depiction of the working cargo ship with attendant barges and boats set against the iconic skyline of Palermo Harbour as viewed from the sea. Other ships can be seen in this busy harbour study and the vibrant colours hold the viewer spell-bound by the beauty of a typical maritime operation performed daily without any appreciation by the participants of the artistic impact of the setting. This well-known respected war-artist was particularly adept at capturing this type of scene in addition to his WWI historical military studies. The painting is signed in dark brown paint in the lower rh corner and then oversigned again in white gouache in his usual manner.
The painting is displayed beneath a cream coloured mount with a gilt inner mount producing a gilt inner border; both mounts are in good condition. The card support has been attached with tape at edges to the back of the inner gilt mount (see the images below). Pencil script to support verso "Ellis Silas F.R.S.A. R.G.S. T No 1 £6.6 palermo" probably in artist's handscript (same handscript seen on other works by this artist). Very faint other script to upper lh corner of support which looks like Palermo.
The contemporary antique style frame is in good condition with light scuffing to edges in places. Hardboard backing board secured with points and sealed with gummed tape. Hanging wire attached.
tss Venetian Ellerman & Papayanni :
1964 renamed City of Leeds, 1965 sold to Liberia renamed Catrina P.
Funnel colours :
1855-1901 Pale pink with black top. 1901-1904 Pink with blue band below black top. 1904-1973 Buff with white band below black top.