Charles Robert PattersonThe Torrens Conrad's Last Ship
Oil on canvas depicts a three masted Clipper ship under full sail on the open sea. About the Ship: Torrens main claim to fame was that she was the last ship on which the writer, Joseph Conrad, would serve as chief officer (1891-1893). He later wrote of her as being, "A ship of brilliant qualities, the way the ship had of letting big seas slip under her did one's heart good to watch. It resembled so much an exhibition of intelligent grace and unerring skill that it could fascinate even the least seamanlike of our passengers". Built for Captain H.R. Angel by James Laing at Sunderland in 1875, the Torrens was registered at 1,335 tons gross and measured 222 feet in length with a 38 foot beam. A beautiful clipper, comparable with Cutty Sark and Thermopylae, she was probably the most favoured passenger ship on the London to Adelaide run and also proved exceedingly lucky. A splendid sea boat and remarkably dry even when racing along in bracing weather, her best-ever day's run was 370 miles in 1897 and her fastest passage, 64 days Plymouth - Adelaide, dock to dock, remains a record on that route for any sailing trader. After a hugely successful and very profitable career in British registry, she was sold to Italian owners soon after 1900. Twice run ashore within five years, on the second occasion in 1910 she was once again salvaged but deemed too damaged for further repairs and broken up. Artist Bio: Charles Robert Patterson (Southampton 1878-1958 New York). Born in England to a family of shipbuilders, Charles Robert Patterson became known for his oil and watercolor marine paintings, often ships sailing on turbulent seas depicted in highly accurate historical detail. Other subjects were modern warships and yachts at sea in atmospheric settings and realistic color. His painting abilities combined with his life adventures, as he went to sea by age 13, sailed the seven seas aboard many kinds of vessels, and rounded Cape Horn four times.
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