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The Posner Maritime Art Collection
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RMS Britannic & RMS Celtic at Queenstown, Ireland
by Parker Greenwood
Oil on canvas, 12" x 18"


This beautiful painting was done by British artist, and former Cunard Line Ship’s Officer, Parker Greenwood.  The signature in the lower right of the painting, is somewhat illegible, but has been compared to an almost identical painting signed by Greenwood. The signature is likely "P. Greenwood," as he went by "Parker." 

The scene depicts two White Star Line ships, the RMS Britannic (I) built in 1873 by Harland and Wolff of Ireland, towing the damaged RMS Celtic (I) (1872), probably back to Liverpool, England for repairs.   The Roches Lighthouse, at the entrance to Queenstown, Ireland (now Cork Harbor) is on the right.  The scene dates to approximately 1884.  Note the British type paddle tug to the right of Britannic.  Also note the American courtesy flags on the foremasts of the still sail-rigged steamships.  Although inappropriate for vessels enroute to Liverpool, both were probably enroute from Liverpool, to New York before the incident that damaged the Celtic.  The tow line between the two steamships can be seen draped from the stern of Britannic to the bow of Celtic. This description was provided primarily by Dr. Sam Davidson, author of Marine Art and Liverpool and four other books about British marine artists.  The SSHSA thanks Dr. Davidson for this information.

Parker Greenwood was listed in the Liverpool city directories as early as 1881 as a mariner, and later as an artist.  He was a prolific marine artist, receiving commissions from both the Cunard and White Star Lines, and is particularly known for his fine paintings of their Transatlantic liners between 1880 and 1910.  Often referred to as George Park Greenwood, his birth name was Parker, not George Parker.  However, there was a maritime artist who signed "G. P. Greenwood," perhaps a relative.  For more information about Parker Greenwood's paintings see the following web sites: 

Blue World Web Museum

BBC - Your Paintings - George Parker Greenwood





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