Although painted in 1956, this evocative painting of an old sailor looking out to sea, could I feel have been painted anytime over the last 200 years. Little had changed.
One can speculate that the artist knew this man, and appreciated that this was a dying way of life.
Look closely, there is such a wealth of detail: the sparsely furnished cottage, with a candle and an oil lamp the only means of light, the old oilskin hanging on the wall, the anchor and
rope, the seaman's chest, the telescope on the window ledge.
And have you noticed his peg leg under the table?
This old sailor made his living by spending many hours making ships models, with work in progress on the table with wood chippings on the floor.
Painted by John Whitfield, from Patcham, Brighton in 1956 and entered into the Royal Academy exhibition in 1959, although marked not for sale. A photo of the attached RA label is below.