Charles Brooking (1723 – 1759)

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Brooking, A Dutch Beach Scene with a Man in the Distance 18th Century

A Dutch Beach Scene with a Man in the Distance, 18th Century
Oil on Canvas, 37.6 x 58 cm

Brooking, East Indiamen in a Gale 1759

East Indiamen in a Gale, 1759
Oil on Canvas
National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Charles Brooking was an English painter, best known for his maritime scenes. While Brooking is sometimes described as ¨self-taught¨, it is believed that he had some instruction. Many art historians have concluded that Brooking’s father was also a painter and decorator, who was active in Plymouth and Ireland.

Brooking,  Commodore Walker's Action: the Privateer Boscwan Engaging a fleet of French Ships 1745

Commodore Walker’s Action: the Privateer Boscwan Engaging a fleet of French Ships, 1745
Oil on Canvas

Brooking, The Capture of the Marquise d'Antin and Louis Erasme 18th Century

The Capture of the Marquise d’Antin and Louis Erasme, 18th Century
Oil on Canvas
National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Brooking’s work was scarcely known until 1754, when his talent was discovered and he received his first major commission from the Foundling Hospital. For this commission, Brooking painted “A Flagship Before the Wind Under Easy Sail”. The painting was strongly received and Brooking was elected to be governor and guardian of the institution. The painting is intended to reflect Peter Monamy’s painting “Fleet in the Downs”.

Brooking, The Capture of the Glorioso 1747

The Capture of the Glorioso, 1747
Oil on Canvas
National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Brooking, Naval Snow 18th Century

Naval Snow, 18th Century
Oil on Canvas
National Maritime Museum Greenwich

It is speculated that Brooking took on various pupils, including Dominic Serres and Francis Swaine. Unfortunately, Brooking did not leave behind a great deal of information and much of his life remains a mystery. Most historians believe that Brooking died of consumption, leaving his family penniless. Consequently, most of Brooking’s documented paintings were executed during the last six years of his life. Brooking’s earlier works are hard to date and have not been studied as extensively as his later works.

Brooking, Ships in a Light Breeze 18th Century

Ships in a Light Breeze, 18th Century
Oil on Canvas
National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Brooking,  View of Elizabeth Castle in the Island of Jersey 18th Century

View of Elizabeth Castle in the Island of Jersey, 18th Century
Engraving, 34 x 48 cm

Many of Brooking’s paintings can now be found at the Greenwich Maritime Museum in London. The museum owns more than twenty of his paintings in addition to numerous engravings. The former United States President, J.F. Kennedy, was known to have a collection of Brooking’s drawings.

Brooking,  A Ship before a fresh breeze and another to Leeward 18th Century

A Ship before a fresh breeze and another to Leeward, 18th Century
Oil on Panel, 32 x 65 cm
Ashmolean, University of Oxford

Brooking,  Shipping in a Breeze, with a Cutter close-hauled in the foreground 18th Century

Shipping in a Breeze, with a Cutter close-hauled in the foreground, 18th Century
Oil on Canvas, 61.5 x 147.5 cm
Ashmolean, University of Oxford

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