Historical Portraits Picture Archive

The Irish Packet Entering Liverpool 1820c.

John Jenkinson 

The Irish Packet Entering Liverpool, John Jenkinson
Oil on canvas
19th Century
32Ĺ x 52inches 82.5 x 132cm
The Liverpudlian painter John Jenkinson is known in his native city as a marine painter and portraitist. In some senses, he might be described as a portraitist with varying subjects, since in his views of shipping in Liverpoolís docks and of the growing city stretched out behind them he was as observant a portraitist as in his treatment of the cityís burghers who sat to him in the second decade of the nineteenth century. The theme of his oeuvre is the city as a whole, and like his contemporary Robert Salmon ó whose minutely detailed snapshots of the city and its shipping Jenkinsonís work so closely resembles, and with which it is frequently confused ó he was inspired by the exciting growth and prosperity of the city that the Triangular Trade with Africa and the United States was making rich and populous.

The present painting is typical of Jenkinsonís work, with its delight in the detailed treatment of shipping and its exact record of the cityís topography as glimpsed from the water. It resembles works such as View of Liverpool with the Isle of Man packet boat and other shipping 1813 (Mierseyside Maritime Museum) which also depicts the cityís landmarks with similar accuracy, a precious record since so many are now lost, and includes St Paulís with its dome, the Exchange and then the spires of St Nicholasís and St Georgeís churches.

Between 1810 and 1814 Jenkinson is recorded as an exhibitor at the Liverpool Academy, and the local directories list him as a painter from 1816 until his death in 1821. Doubtless the patronage for his shipping views and for his portraits sprang from the same source, and he must have been eagerly employed by the cityís mercantile aristocracy to their families, as well as the vessels that were the foundation of their and their cityís wealth. Examples of Jenkinsonís work are preserved in the Merseyside Maritime Museum, as well as in collections as far away as the Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts, a city with strong historic trading links to Liverpool.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.