Glenlee- Down Channel with a Fair Wind by Robert Carter

We continue our series on the marvellous paintings by Robert Carter OAM, FASMA, FISMP of the sailing ship era and recently published in The Marine Paintings of Robert Carter1.

Robert is one of Australia's leading marine artists and is also joint founder of the Australian Society of Marine Artists with Dean Claflin.2 You can read more about Bob's biographical information by clicking here.

In this publication Bob has presented his paintings in five parts and we will follow this same format. Today we are going to start looking at Part Two: British Sail and we will showcase Robert's wonderful painting of the barque Glenlee.

Glenlee - Down the Channel with a Fair Wind by Robert Carter ©

The barque Glenlee heads down the English Channel, with the South Foreland to starboard, before a steady Fair Wind. This was familiar territory, as it was for most ships leaving ports on the East coast of the UK, for destinations on the other side of the world.

The term ‘Fair Wind’ describes any wind of any strength, that allowed a sailing ship to sail a compass course, rather than having to tack.

Glenlee was built at Glasgow in 1896 by Anderson Rodger & Co. for Archibald Sterling & Co. She had steel hull and lower masts and yards. Her rig can be described as a ‘bald headed barque’, meaning, she had no ‘royals’. These uppermost sails ceased to be rigged on some sailing vessels around this period in an attempt to cut down on crew numbers. It was also referred to as the ‘Jubilee rig’ as it had been first adopted during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Year in 1887.

The ‘painted gun ports’ hull decoration, which is obvious here, was a feature of many British sailing ships from the early 19th century. Ships sailing ‘east’- meaning, to China, were painted in this manner as a deterrent against Chinese pirates, who might believe they had fallen in with an armed vessel. It was still in use late in the century as shipowners thought it enhanced the lines of their vessels. It was adopted on some French ships but was modified slightly so that it had a ‘French look’.

In 1922 Glenlee was bought by the Spanish Navy for use as a training ship and re-named Galatea. By 1980 they had no further use for her and she was laid up and abandoned.

In 1990 she was bought by the Clyde Maritime Trust, who have since refurbished her as an exhibition ship and she is now on display at the Clyde Riverside Museum.

© Thank you to Robert Carter who kindly gave permission for the image of his work to be shared on AnArt4Life.

Please check out the Robert Carter Website.

And also the site for the Marine Artisits Australia.

The next glorious vessel in our Robert Carter Marine Series will appear in about a week.

Late Mail

A very warm welcome to Sue in the United Kingdom who has joined the AnArt4Life online community which shares love about all things art around the world.

1. The Marine Paintings of Robert Carter , Published in Australia by Robert Carter Maritime, Gosforth NSW, 2320, Australia, 2022
2. Correspondence with Robert Carter