Robert C. Todd
British, Canadian, 1809
oil on millboard
25 x 33.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42225)
Despite his success as a painter in Quebec City, Todd moved in 1853 to Toronto, where he made this picture two years later. It is not a ship portrait, but rather a storm scene featuring two vessels. The crew of the ship in the foreground busy themselves on the bridge. All the details of the rigging and the depiction of the sails suggest that Todd was very familiar with his subject. The dynamic composition is balanced by the presence in the opening on the right of a steamship with its sails raised. Still in its original frame, the painting is the artist's only known marine view and also the only work from his Toronto period to have come down to us.