Penobscot Marine Museum educator Sarah Cole explores a painting from the museum’s collection. Not much is known about “Slaver Brig with Royal Navy Brig in Pursuit” by the British artist Ebenezer Poulson, but the painting speaks loudly on its own and helps to tell a broader story. Originally presented on July 10th on Facebook Live, this program is part of PMM’s Peek into Paintings on Facebook Live.
Next week, Sarah will post about the research she conducted for this program.

2 thoughts on “Slaver Brig with Royal Navy Brig in Pursuit

  1. Great work Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing this. Great research on Ebenezer Poulson! I’d love to know more on him specifically, but the genre more generally. I know you said naval warfare paintings were an entertainment of sorts for the public, was the West African Squadron a sub-genre of this type?

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything more about Ebenezer Poulson than that advertisement I found-

      And a reference to a patent he applied for in 1852 for a Pump Purchase for securing a pump-

      Although there are abundant paintings and prints of British Navy vessels in various actions, there does not appear to be any significant number of paintings of the West Africa Squadron. Most of the images of slaver ships from the 19th century are “Port Paintings,” stylized images of ships in a port that the ship was in, such as the brig KENTUCKY.

      The only other exception I can think of is Joseph Turner’s “Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying- Typhoon Coming On” a very unusual painting, used by Turner to help further his abolitionist cause. This striking piece of art led me to choose to go to art school out of high school, 30 years ago. 🙂

      Thank you very much for your question, I wish I had more information for you!

      Take care, Sarah

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