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15.         GAVARRONE, DOMENICO 1860       

The brig "La Vergine" swept up by a torrent of sea

Watercolor on paper, cm 32,5x56,5     (inv. Costa n. 35)

Signed: Domenico Gavarrone Genova li 8 Magg. 1860
 

Known data:

   TYPE:                                             brig
   YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION:     1857
   PLACE OF CONSTRUCTION:   PrÓ
   SHIPOWNER:                               Prospero Costa
   CAPTAIN:                                      Giuseppe Costa

Caption:

       "The Brig La Vergine, Capt. Giuseppe Costa, being in the environs of Frashborough Head in England the 25th day of October 1859 went subject to a serious thunderstorm in which swept up a blow of sea in the same ship, carriyng out one part of the objects that were on deck, and would be dead either Ship and Crew, if they weren't aided by Our Lady of Boschetto".

Notes:

When at a first observation the paintings of Gavarrone may seems repetitive, a less superficial examination of its reveals the wealth of the adopted solutions in order to give better life to the specific episode that the customer will ask him to recall. 

The picture of the ship with the side in front to the observer remains a constant, but inside of this fixed formulation it is demanded at the sea to create infinite variations.

Therefore, in this painting, the blowing of the sea described by the text is represented while with impetuosity it hits the deck of the ship; nearly zero seems the possibility that the crew succeed to contrast the danger,  even though the painter Gavarrone suggests the phrenetic seamen's work describing also some details of clothes like the great waxed hats. 

It did not have to lack, in origin, the customary figure of the Madonna, probably in the center of that halo of light of which the bottom part is visible up on the left. An unknown reason or the simply necessity to adapt the painting to a frame, must have induced to a drastic cut of the paper that justifies the different dimensions of this painting from the constant format of the Gavarrone's works.