If ever there was a book that the lover of fine sailing vessels and fine art would want, it has to be the splendidly produced 'A Nautical Odyssey: An Illustrated Maritime History from Cook to Shackleton'. When it arrived in the mail I had to 'stop everything' and spend the next half hour browsing its pages. It must be one of the most gorgeously produced maritime books of all time.
by Nancy Knudsen
It's 169 pages of the work of David Bell, one of our finest marine artists, who has been a painter of ships and the sea for over 40 years.
The large sized hardback book contains lovingly crafted paintings of ships in subtle sepia tones, and covers mainly British maritime history from 1492 until 1914. There is a heavy emphasis on James Cook's ships and those of subsequent explorers including Bligh, Vancouver, Flinders, Shackleton and Scott.
Battle ships are represented in a chapter on those of Nelson's time, which includes dramatic battle scenes. The great trading ships, the clippers, feature in a another chapter.
The magnificent paintings are accompanied by text which explains the story of the ships involved, and the reason why they are included in the anthology.
Bell, who was a former merchant navy officer, has long been renowned for the technical accuracy of his paintings, but he also has a rare talent for making the ships 'come to life', using subtle and evocative colour and light in his works.
This is a great book for all those who love seeing fine old sailing ships, wrought with both accuracy and delicacy. A wonderful addition to any library or coffee table, and an ideal present for the sailor who has everything! About David Bell:
David C Bell, born in Lincolnshire in 1950, attended Trinity House Navigation School and joined the Merchant Navy as a navigator. Nine years later he changed careers and gained a BA Honours Degree at Hull College of Art.
He paints many subjects but is primarily known as marine artist, most notably for the Sir Walter Raleigh painting for H.R.H. Prince of Wales and Humber Heritage, now in the collection of H.M. The Queen. His work has been exhibited throughout Britain and is in collections all over the world.
If your local maritime specialist bookshop does not have the book in stock, you can obtain it from the publishers, by clicking here?nid=76202
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7:47 PM Tue 26 Oct 2010 GMT
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