Bernard Finnigan Gribble was one of BritainÂ’s most distinguished maritime painters.

From fantasy encounters between pirates and marines to eye-witness paintings of historic maritime events, Gribble’s dramatic and wide-ranging oeuvre won him distinguished admirers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Queen Mary and Jackie Kennedy. Gribble was at the height of his powers during the First World War, when he was employed by King George V and the United States administration to paint grand naval scenes, one of which hung in the Oval Office of the White House. After working for many years in London, Gribble spent the latter part of his life in Parkstone, an area of Poole adjacent to the harbour, becoming one of the town’s best-known artists. Poole Quay on a Busy Day with Boats and Figures is the finest painting of the town’s iconic quay that Gribble is known to have produced, and the only oil painting of the subject in the Poole Museum collection. While Gribble’s distinctly Edwardian sensibilities have made his paintings unfashionable in recent years, the upcoming centenary of the First World War is an opportune moment to revisit the work of one of the conflict’s greatest naval artists. Poole Quay was exhibited in Poole Museum’s 2013 exhibition, ‘Painting Drama at Sea’, and now joins the world’s largest holding of Gribble’s art in the museum’s permanent collection.


Private collection, East Dorset; Dukes Auctioneers, Dorchester (unsold); vendor.

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