Maritime scene of French steamboats “forcing a pass” around clipper ships. In the picturesque scene, steam pours from the steamboat stacks and blends into the waves and sea mist, with a mountain in the distance. The transition from sail to steam in shipping was a frequent theme in mid 19th century maritime art, often illustrated, as here, by showing steamships steering past the clippers. This lithograph was co-published by a British and a French firm. Another copy of this print is in the collection of Britain's National Maritime Museum.
Jean Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager was a French painter and photographer specializing in maritime subjects and naval battles. He was trained in the studio of Eugène Isabey. An adventurous spirit, he traveled throughout Europe, North Africa and almost the entire Atlantic coast of Africa. In 1840, he was attached to the expedition charged with returning Napoleon's ashes to France, and published a folio about the mission. In 1844, Durand-Brager was commissioned by the government to execute two large canvases of the Bombardment of Mogador during the First French-Moroccan War. He later completed major commissions of other battle scenes, Le Combat de Sinope for the Russian czar and La Bataille de Lissa for the Austrian emperor. His painting Le Deuxième Combat entre les Batteries Japonaises et les Escadres Alliées (1869) was painted for Versailles. He also published several albums of prints: La Marine Française, La Marine du Commerce, Etudes de Marine and Types et Physionomie des Armées d'Orient. Durand-Brager was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1844 and became an officer in 1865. His works are in many British and French museum collections today, notably Versailles, which has several paintings from a series he made on the Siege of Sebastopol.
Full publication information: "Imp. par Lemercier, à Paris. Paris, publié par Jeannin, Place du Louvre, 20. London - Anaglyphic Company, 25 Berners St. Oxford St. P'd January 31 1845."
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling, soft creases. Colors bright.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 3, p. 436.
"PAH8200 Corvettes a Vapeur endivisionees forcant une passe." National Maritime Museum. http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/prints/viewPrint.cfm?ID=PAH8200 (6 October 2011).