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“Portrait Of A Smuggler” By Henry Perlee Parker H.R.S.A. (george III)*smuggler, Pirate & Napoleonic War Interest




A wonderful oil on canvas of a smuggler, grasping a flintlock in readiness one presumes to escape the excise man. I can only write that he looks wonderfully like the actor Richard Harris! Smuggling was a risky business with penalties ranging from transportation to the gallows, smuggling became a desperate business involving, often, much of the local population. I can imagine this chap drinking rum in Jamaica Inn as he looks like he’s just stepped out of a Daphne Du Mourier novel! Painting inset measures 48.5cm x 57.5cm, the main measures are of the frame.
The artist Henry Perlee Parker was known as “Smuggler” because he specialised in painting portraits of smugglers. This particular painting is of the Napoleonic Wars era which saw a huge increase in illicit trade due to the fact that manpower had been diverted to the continent. Once landed, illicit goods quickly filtered in land, by which time any duty had been avoided.
Painting in Plymouth, Newcastle and London, he lived to the remarkable age in those days of 78 yet died in poverty.
This is one of the nicest examples of his work! In 1815 he moved from the West Country to Newcastle and later became a Master at Wesley College Sheffield.
This image of a smuggler recurred in Parker’s work, however this slightly more abstract imagery is arguably his finest style. The use of a more washed facial style and bright coloured neckachief features in another of his works “News of the war” The Duke of Wellington. This style is more popular than the grained real life imagery.

Dimensions 2 × 25.2 × 28.7 in

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