The scene shows a family at sunrise on a ‘tender’ or ferry.

They are waving to friends or relatives leaving for New York onboard a trans-Atlantic Cunard liner. In 1880 Liverpool was still Cunard’s principal port for North Atlantic passenger travel. The company did not send ships to New York out of London until about 1910. The bearded mariner wearing a cap, in the centre of this work, is based on Captain Freebody. It may have been through Freebody that Tissot visited Liverpool by steamer and saw the city from the Mersey estuary, as depicted in this watercolour. This work adds to the National Museums Liverpool's growing collection of views of Liverpool which includes Ben Johnson's Liverpool Cityscape archive also acquired with an Art Fund grant in 2010.

Provenance

Private Collector; Sotheby's, New York, 1993; Sotheby’s, London, 2000, bought in; Sotheby's, New York, 2002, bought in.


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