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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, built in 1873 by Harland and Wolff of Ireland, towing the damaged RMS Celtic, built in 1872, back to Liverpool, England for repairs.  The Britannic picked up the Celtic after her main propeller shaft broke during an Atlantic crossing. She had been struggling under sail for 31 days.  The scene dates to approximately January 1884.  Note on the right is a British type paddle tug, and the Roches Lighthouse at the entrance to Queenstown, Ireland (now Cork Harbor). Also note the American courtesy flags on the foremasts of the still sail-rigged steamships.  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 Sam Davidson, author of Marine Art and Liverpool and four other books about British marine artists.  

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 Parker 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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