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Provenance

Baron Henri de Rothschild. John, 1st Baron Astor of Hever [1866-1971], Hever Castle, Kent, by 1951;[1] by descent, through his wife, Lady Violet Nairne [d. 1965], to George, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne [b. 1912];[2] sold 1979 to (Thomas Agnew & Sons, London); purchased February 1980 by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia; gift 1982 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1827
Perhaps Royal Academy, London, 1827, no. 373.
1951
The First Hundred Years of the Royal Academy, Royal Academy, London, 1951-1952, no. 208.
1961
Bonington, Guildhall, King's Lynn, 1961, no. 6.
1962
Pictures, Watercolours and Drawings by R. P. Bonington, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd. London, 1962, no. 6, repro.
1965
R. P. Bonington, Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham, 1965, no. 252.
1966
Bonington, les débuts du romanticisme en Angleterre et en Normandie, Musée de Cherbourg, 1966, no. 46.
Bibliography
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 51, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 21-23, color repro. 22.
Technical Summary

The medium-coarse canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, freely brushed. The painting is executed vigorously and opaquely; the primary layers are blended wet into wet, over which the ships and breakwaters are laid in with thinner paint and the rigging and figures richly and fluidly; there is broken impasto in the whites. The paint surface is slightly abraded and has been flattened during lining. The painting is otherwise in good condition. There is minute retouching throughout, resulting from the abrasion, and a quarter-inch band of reglazing along the bottom edge. There are residues of a pigmented natural varnish which have discolored yellow. The more recent, moderately thick synthetic varnish has not discolored.