Corvette Cataluña (1883) by Josep Pineda GuerraMuseu Marítim de Barcelona
The artist Josep Pineda Guerra, who adopted Barcelona as his hometown, is considered to be the best Spanish ship-portrait artist of the 19th century due to the technical quality of his work and his command of naval architecture. He received numerous commissions from Merchant Navy captains and ship owners.
Josep Pineda Guerra's Signature
One of the unique features of Pineda's paintings is his almost obsessive inclusion of 3 to 5 seagulls flying over waves, camouflaged against the sea.
Having spent several years sailing across different seas all over the world, the painter understood maritime trade.
He transferred his knowledge of trade at sea to his paintings, which included detailed depictions of riggings and hulls.
Most of his paintings are shown below, in exhibition-poster format, with information of interest such as the name of the ship and its captain, and a brief description the scene represented.
In the case of this painting, only the name of the ship given is: "Corbeta Cataluña" (the Corvette Cataluña).
The distinctive blue, white, yellow, and red flag of Barcelona waves on the topmast, indicating that the ship was registered there.
Small fishing vessels, which were often seen in the Mediterranean around the Iberian Peninsula, are sailing off the coast of Barcelona, identifiable by the outline of Montjuïc hill.
The captain, his hands firmly at the wheel, steers the vessel at full speed.