Commodore Trunnion and Jack Hatchway

MAKER:
Artist

Francis William Edmonds ( American, 1806 - 1863 )

DATE:
By 1839
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General Description

In this scene adapted from Tobias Smollett's novel The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, the British veteran Commodore Trunnion (pouring himself a drink) learns from his friend Jack Hatchway that a hated rival naval officer has beaten him out of an honorary title. This early example of 19th-century genre painting combines an 18th-century British literary subject with the coloration, lighting, and detail of 17th-century Dutch still lifes and narrative scenes.

Francis Edmonds began life as a banker but soon devoted more and more time to his blossoming artistic career. The success of his first exhibition in 1839—and this painting in particular—caused him to change career paths for good.

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