La corveta Atrevida entre bancas del nieve

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This print is of a corvette[1], a Spanish ship, sailing in turbulent seas. It is, I think, a remarkable rendering of a vessel contending not only with waves but also a snowy coast, perhaps even something of iceberg proportions, but nevertheless, it is close to land, there is snow on the land, and it is through that very difficult passage that this ship, the Atrevida[2], is navigating. The era for this would be in the late 18th century and it gives a good idea, I think, of what sailors of the day had to contend with, and it’s absolutely marvelous, I think, to look at the rigging of the of the sails, and the rope-walks that sailors were required to clamber up. You’ll see one on his way up very perilously heading up to the upper portions of the mast, and no one’s quite made it up to the very top, the top mast, but sailors had to do that. This particular print gives a wonderful impression of what seafaring would have been like under adverse conditions in the day.

[1] “During the Age of Sail, corvettes were one of many types of warships smaller than a frigate and with a single deck of guns. They were very closely related to sloops-of-war. The role of the corvette consisted mostly of coastal patrol, fighting minor wars, supporting large fleets, or participating in show-the-flag missions.” Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

[2] “The Descubierta and Atrevida were twin corvettes of the Spanish Navy, custom-designed as identical special exploration and scientific research vessels. […] They were launched together on 8 April 1789.” Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.



For more details, view the catalog record: