USS Bonhomme Richard vs HMS Serapis
Oil on canvas,19.5x27.5", 2017. After sunset on September 23, 1779, the USS Bonhomme Richard and the HMS Serapis engaged in what has been described as one of the most remarkable ship duels of the American Revolution. Captained by John Paul Jones, Bonhomme Richard was sailing around the British Isles when it came across a Baltic merchant fleet escorted by two British ships (HMS Serapis and Countess of Scarborough) off the east coast of England. Despite the fact that the Serapis was a newer ship, had 50 guns to the Bonhomme Richard’s 40, and the Bonhomme Richard was slow and barely considered sea worthy, Jones did not shy away from the impending battle. Illuminated by the full moon, cannon fire began at 7:15 p.m. After the Bonhomme Richard suffered crippling damage, the captain of Serapis, Richard Pearson, asked Jones if he has struck his colors; Jones’ now-famous reply (which may or may not have been fabricated after the fact) was “surrender be damned, I have not begun to fight.” After a grueling 3 and a half hour battle, with both ships entangled and firing point-blank, an American grenade exploded a series of arms magazines on board Serapis, forcing Pearson to surrender. The Bonhomme Richard was too badly damaged to sail, and so Jones transferred his remaining men to the Serapis. The Bonhomme Richard sunk the following day. Original available.
The Battle of Trafalgar
SOLD. Oil on canvas, 19.5x27.5", 2017. The Battle of Trafalgar was one the most decisive naval battles in history: the British victory over the French and Spanish successfully stopped French plans to invade England and established England’s naval supremacy for the next 100 years. Fought during the Napoleonic Wars off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain on October 21, 1805, it involved a fleet of 33 ships (18 French, 15 Spanish) under Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve and a fleet of 27 ships under Admiral Horatio Nelson. Lord Nelson, who had “consistently thwarted” Napoleon Bonaparte at sea, made history during this battle with an unorthodox and unprecedented strategy. Traditionally, naval battles were conducted in a single line of battle, parallel to the enemy. When Admiral Villeneuve lined his ships according to this practice, Lord Nelson divided his fleet into two columns perpendicular to the enemy and charged straight through the line. The resulting chaos and devastation ended after 5 hours with 19 French/Spanish ships destroyed, no British ships lost, Villeneuve captured, and Nelson killed by a French sniper. Nelson’s body was returned to Britain, hailed as one of England’s greatest war heroes.
Rarely have two artists worked together so well and with such a single minded and successful purpose as Anna and Andrew Orlinski. Since they met in Professor A. Kozyrski’s class at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1980, they have devoted their lives both to creating a lovely family of three children and to researching and painting the infinite beauty of the seas, tall ships and ancient ports. Skies, seas and storms are Anna’s domain, upon which Andrew creates ships, sails and ports, the couple working together in their unique and sophisticated multilayered technique to build modern masterpieces with the feel of the old masters.
The Orlinski’s works may be found in private collections throughout Europe and the United States of America, and have been selected for the annual L’Art de la Mer exhibition at Noirmoutier Island in France.