Marine Paintings and Drawings
in the
Peabody Essex Museum


Jenny Lind departing Liverpool abord the Collins Liner ATLANTIC, 1842
Samuel Walters (1811--82)
Oil on canvas 36 in. by 59 in.

This painting captures the bon voyage tribute to Jenny Lind the "Swedish Nightingale", departing Liverpool for New York. The internationally renowned singer had been warmly regarded in Liverpool since January 1849 when she gave a benefit recital at the Liverpool Amphitheatre for the Southern and Toxtech Hospital. Adored by all, the singer was ensured a royal sendoff by the enormous crowd of admirers that had gathered.

In this commemorative painting, Walters adapts one of his "off Egremont" compositions by considerable expanding it to the left, resulting in an impressive canvas that includes Wallasey Pool and Seacombe (the former in process of conversion to the Birkenhead Docks). In customary fashion, the distant Perch Rock Fort and Lighthouse appear on the extreme right, and this portion of the painting is free of shipping, leaving the ATLANTIC to gather speed unimpeded as she heads for the open sea. Elsewhere, the extensive canvas is crowded with a varied flotilla of craft, whose occupants have come to bid farewell to the tiny figure on the ATLANTIC's paddle box. Viewed head on, the official tender (a Liverpool Steam Tug Company paddle steamer flying the stars and stripes) blows her whistle in response to the ATLANTIC's saluting cannon, the weight of well-wishers producing a noticable list to port. A distant Birkenhead ferry steamer, a Wallasey ferry steamer, and unidentified American sailing packet, and half a dozen Mersey gig boats and their occupants add to the colorful pageantry.

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Last updated November 25, 1996