Burning the Collier Fleet

Original:  Oil on canvas, 24" x 36"  SOLD
Giclee print:  13" x 20" image on 350# Arches paper

Commissioned painting for the cover of the third novel in the American Revolution series by James Fender, titled Our Lives, Our Fortunes (UPNE, publ, 2004).   In this story the American crew of a captured British Sixth-Rate single-decker (Audacity, ex-Jaguar) attacks and burns a number of British colliers rafted together on the River Tyne near Newcastle.  My research for the painting focused on what a large conflagration fed by shiploads of coal would look like, plus maps and published photos of Tynemouth, a watercolor painting (ca. 1814) by Thomas Hair of the main colliery at Percy on the Tyne, sketches of colliers by E. W. Cooke, and other materials.  In real life, John Paul Jones proposed to attack the colliers at Newcastle in September 1779 during his cruise in the Bonhomme Richard, but his captains feared they would be captured and refused to participate in the raid.



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