Thomas Birch, 1833 - Loss of the SchoonerJohn S. Spenceof Norfolk - fine art print

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The artwork Loss of the SchoonerJohn S. Spenceof Norfolk created by Thomas Birch as your personal art replica

Loss of the SchoonerJohn S. Spenceof Norfolk was made by Thomas Birch in 1833. The 180 year old version of the work of art measures the size: 26 1/4 x 35 3/4 in (66,7 x 90,2 cm) and was painted on the medium oil on canvas. Furthermore, this artpiece forms part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's collection in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. With courtesy of - Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( (public domain).Besides, the artpiece has the creditline: . What is more, the alignment is landscape and has a side ratio of 1.4 : 1, meaning that the length is 40% longer than the width.

Artwork description by Los Angeles County Museum of Art (© - Los Angeles County Museum of Art - Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Although he achieved success with his ship portraits, Birch’s distinctive contribution to American art was his more romantic renderings of ships in storms, such as Loss of the Schooner "John S. Spence" . . . . In his cool palette, evocative sky, and turbulent sea Birch reveals the influence of Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), a French marine painter whose imaginative works were available to the artist in Philadelphia. Although Birch was actually depicting the aftermath of the storm, he still conveyed its power through the vigorous waves, overcast sky, brisk wind, and the narrative element of the destroyed ship. Although some of Birch’s stormy marines were fictional, at least two, the museum’s painting and The Loss of the New York Packet Ship "Albion," exhibited 1824 (unlocated), were based on actual events. The schooner "John S. Spence" was lost at sea not long after it had left the port of Norfolk, Virginia, bound for Havana, Cuba. The museum’s painting was commissioned by Alexander M. Peltz, one of the passengers on the schooner during its last voyage. At the age of nineteen Peltz, desirous adventure, left his home in Washington, D.C., and on August 19, 1827, set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, on the "Spence" in the company of a childhood friend, intending to travel to Mexico to join the company of the former US commodore David Porter. Six days later the schooner was wrecked in a storm on the open sea, its bowsprit and taffrail broken, and its masts transformed into a confusion of ropes and broken wood. Five survivors, including Pelz-but not his friend-were rescued a week after the wreck by a New England captain, Isaac Staples of the brig "Cobosse Contee," but only three lived to reach New York. Peltz originally intended to give the painting to Captain Staples, his rescuer. Staples was lost at sea before the painting was completed, however, so it remained in Peltz’s family until 1982. Shortly before his death Peltz wrote an account of the voyage, disaster, and struggle to survive without food and water. Birch no doubt based much of his rendering on Peltz’s oral account, for the written account demonstrates that he vividly recalled the details of the disaster. When the painting was exhibited in 1834 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts it was listed as a "second view." Birch used the incident as the basis for an engraving that appeared in the 1836 volume of The Token; however, this drawn The Wreck at Sea is a close-up view from on board the "Spence" rather than from the distant perspective, and it depicts only four men being rescued.

Artwork details

Artwork title: "Loss of the SchoonerJohn S. Spenceof Norfolk"
Artwork classification: painting
Umbrella term: modern art
Period: 19th century
Created in: 1833
Age of artwork: around 180 years
Original medium: oil on canvas
Original dimensions: 26 1/4 x 35 3/4 in (66,7 x 90,2 cm)
Museum: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum location: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Website: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
License type of artwork: public domain
Courtesy of: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (

General background information on the artist

Name: Thomas Birch
Additional names: Birch, Thomas Birch, Birch Thomas
Gender of the artist: male
Nationality of artist: American
Jobs of the artist: painter
Country of origin: United States
Artist classification: modern artist
Life span: 72 years
Year born: 1779
Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Died in the year: 1851
Place of death: Philadelphia, Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, United States

Item materials which you can select:

The product dropdown menu gives you the chance to choose your individual material and size. Choose among the following product options now to match your preferences in size and material:

  • Poster on canvas material: The poster print is a UV printed canvas with a slightly roughened structure on the surface. Please keep in mind, that depending on the size of the poster print we add a white margin between 2-6cm round about the print in order to facilitate the framing with your custom frame.
  • Printed acrylic glass: An acrylic glass print, which is often referred to as a an art print on plexiglass, will turn an artwork into stunning décor.
  • Canvas print: The printed canvas, not to be confused with an artwork painted on a canvas, is an image printed on an industrial printing machine. A canvas print has the advantage of being low in weight. That means, it is easy to hang the Canvas print without extra wall-mounts. That is why, canvas prints are suited for any type of wall.
  • Aluminium dibond (metal print): An Aluminium Dibond print is a print material with an impressive depth. The non-reflective surface structure creates a contemporary impression. The Direct Print on Aluminum Dibond is your excellent introduction to the sophisticated world of fine replicas with aluminum. For our Direct Aluminium Dibond print, we print your selected artpiece on the surface of the white-primed aluminum material. The white & bright sections of the original work of art shimmer with a silk gloss, however without glow. This UV print on aluminium is the most popular entry-level product and is a contemporary way to display art reproductions, as it draws attention on the replica of the artwork.

Structured article details

Article categorization: wall art
Reproduction: digital reproduction
Production process: UV direct printing (digital print)
Provenance: German production
Type of stock: production on demand
Proposed product use: wall art, art collection (reproductions)
Orientation: landscape alignment
Image aspect ratio: length to width 1.4 : 1
Interpretation of aspect ratio: the length is 40% longer than the width
Available options: canvas print, metal print (aluminium dibond), acrylic glass print (with real glass coating), poster print (canvas paper)
Canvas on stretcher frame (canvas print): 70x50cm - 28x20", 140x100cm - 55x39"
Acrylic glass print (with real glass coating) sizes: 70x50cm - 28x20", 140x100cm - 55x39"
Poster print (canvas paper) options: 70x50cm - 28x20"
Aluminium print (aluminium dibond material) size options: 70x50cm - 28x20", 140x100cm - 55x39"
Frame: not available

Legal disclaimer: We try our utmost to describe our art products as exact as possible and to display them visually on the various product detail pages. Still, the tone of the printed materials and the imprint might diverge somehwat from the image on the monitor. Depending on your screen settings and the nature of the surface, not all color pigments are printed one hundret percent realistically. Because all our art reproductions are processed and printed by hand, there may also be minor deviations in the exact position and the size of the motif.

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