Watson and the Shark
Copley chose to depict the moment of highest dramatic intensity -- the instant just prior to the third, presumably fatal, attack. Viewers had no way of knowing that the lad would be plucked from the jaws of death by his stalwart companions.

John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778. National Gallery of Art, Ferdinand Lammot Belin Fund 1963.6.1  

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