About this artwork
Based in Philadelphia, Thomas Birch was a leading marine painter who helped establish the genre in early 19th-century America. Shipwreck near a Rocky Coast is a romantic, imaginative composition that highlights human struggle against the forces of nature: the ship’s sails are torn, its masts lean to one side, and a tiny group of seafarers attempts to flee the disaster. Birch rendered the scene in dramatic detail, yet left the narrative unresolved.
- Thomas Birch
- Shipwreck near a Rocky Coast
- United States (Object made in)
- Oil on canvas
- Signed at lower right: "T Birch 1833"
- 51.4 × 76.8 cm (20 1/4 × 30 1/4 in.)
- Gift of the family of Richard H. Daniel