A la Mémoire de Courbet
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fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

R. Noel

French ( XIX - XX )

A la Mémoire de Courbet

  • Gouache & Watercolour
  • Signed lower right

Image size 16.5 inches x 27.5 inches ( 42cm x 69.5cm )
Frame size 25.8 inches x 38.6 inches ( 65.5cm x 98cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset, this original painting of the French Navy Ironclad Warship Courbet dates from around 1910 – 1912. The creator is not listed as an artist in journals or art indexes but it is likely that the artist was a sailor serving on the warship.
It is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary wooden frame (which is shown in these photographs).
The paper surface has benefitted from cleaning, restoration and conservation, which was performed on our instruction, supervision and approval.
This antique painting is now in a good sound condition providing heightened decoration and historical record. The age colouration of the paper and the paint pigments perfectly represents the aesthetics of the era in which it was created. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed lower right.

This is a wonderful original painting in gouache and watercolour of the French Navy Ironclad Warship Courbet which dates from around 1910 – 1912. It is likely that the artist was a sailor serving on the warship.
The painting depicts a warship with three masts, flying the French tricolour flags and the lifebuoy on the rocks in the bottom left corner is inscribed with the words “A la mémoire de Courbet”.
The Courbet was part of the French Navy’s ironclad Courbet Class Central Battery ships, built in from the late 1870s to early 1880s. The Courbet Class were the largest central battery ships ever built and comprised the Courbet and the Devastation.

The ship was originally named Foudroyant (‘Lightning”), but she was renamed to honour the great French Admiral Amédée Courbet in 1885. Anatole-Amédée-Prosper Courbet (1827-1885) won a series of important land and naval victories during the Tonkin Campaign (1883-860 and the Sino-French War (1884- 1885). He then died of cholera and was commemorated as something of a national hero and given a state funeral. The Courbet shown here was the first of three French naval vessels named after this wise and intelligent Commander.

The Courbet’s notable statistics were:
Laid down 19 July 1875
Launched 27 April 1882, as Foudroyant
Commissioned 20 October 1886, as Courbet
Decommissioned 4 January 1903
Stricken 5 February 1909
Fate Sold for scrap, 25 August 1910
Length 100.52 m (329 ft 9 in) (loa)
Beam 21.26 m (69 ft 9 in)

The vessel had a displacement of 10,450 tons and a top speed of 15 knots. It was equipped with four 13.4 inch 21 calibre M1881 main guns, four 10.8 inch 20 calibre model 1875 guns, six 5.5 inch model 1881 guns and twelve 1 pounder revolvers, and five 14 inch torpedo tubes. The ship was protected with wrought iron armour, between 7 to 15 in thick extending the entire length of the hull and an armoured deck to protect the ship’s internal spaces. There was a crew of 689 officers and enlisted men and propulsion was provided by two compound steam engines with twelve coal-burning fire-tube boilers. The ship could produce 6,200 kW horsepower and had a top speed of 15.5 knots, with a cruising radius of 3,100 nautical miles. Courbet was modernised in 1894, 1897, and 1899-1900. The vessel played a full part in the French navy’s manoeuvres of the Mediterranean Fleet, and later the Northern Squadron, between 1889 and 1904.
This painting is an extraordinary tribute to a remarkable vessel and the history of her era.