As in his painting The Last Days of Pompeii, on view nearby, here James Hamilton depicts human frailty in the face of nature’s awesome force. Under dramatic skies a foundering ship is tossed on stormy waves. A Confederate flag whips from the top of the mast (upside down to signal distress), making the image emblematic of the ongoing devastation of the U.S. Civil War and predictive of the South’s defeat.
Oil on canvas
59 5/8 x 48 1/16 in. (151.5 x 122 cm)
frame: 70 1/8 × 58 9/16 × 5 1/4 in. (178.1 × 148.7 × 13.3 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed verso: "Foundering' / Jas Hamilton / Philada 1863"
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
This item is not on view
James Hamilton (American, 1819-1878). Foundering, 1863. Oil on canvas, 59 5/8 x 48 1/16 in. (151.5 x 122 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 55.139 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 55.139_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 55.139_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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