Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Harbor Scene near Greenock, A

  • Artist:

    Salmon, Robert W.

  • Artist Bio:

    British, 1775–about 1844

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Oil on panel

  • Dimensions:

    14 x 20 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Wichita Art Museum Members Foundation

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Robert W. Salmon (American, ca. 1775 – ca. 1844)

A Harbor Scene near Greenock, 1814

Oil on pond, 14 x 20 in.

Wichita Art Museum, Gift of the Wichita Art Museum Members Foundation


            Salmon’s family was involved in some aspect of maritime trade or industry because the boy grew up in Liverpool, England. He worked extensively in that port city as well as in Greenock, Scotland. His maritime profession and his painting took him to many sites along the coast of Great Britain, including the Firth of Clyde (Scotland), and Durham, the Channel coast above Dover and the south coast near Dorset and Cornwall.

            Salmon may have been a self-taught artist but his work achieved such professional quality that he exhibited paintings in the Royal Academy. The sources of his style and imagery include the marine paintings of the Dutch artist Van de Veldes, the Italian Canaletto and his countryman J. M. W. Turner.

            From 1828 and 1842 Salmon was in the United States living in Boston. He painted portraits of ships, views of the harbor and genre images of workmen on the docks. His work popularized marine subjects and provided a direct influence upon later American painters of the sea such as Fitz Hugh Lane.

            The Wichita Art Museum painting reveals that Salmon, in his early career, combined imaginative and documentary qualities in a seascape. Salmon may have brought this work with him to the United States as a part of the store of his earlier canvases, which he sold in the new world to get himself started.