With a wealth of experience commissioning maritime paintings, Mall Galleries Art Consultants match you with some of the best marine artists in the country to help you realise your project.

Maritime painting is a genre that depicts ships, or an element of seafaring, and the sea.  The genre was particularly popular from the 17th -19th centuries, reflecting the increased impact of global maritime trade, exploration and warfare. Today, many maritime painters explore these themes through portrayals of historic maritime moments, from trade clippers crossing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail to World War II warships in battle.  

For those commissioning maritime paintings, the subject matter often reflects a personal interest or connection. Some clients come to Mall Galleries’ art consultants with stories of family members who served on a particular warship they are commissioning a painting of, others might work in shipping and want to explore the history of the industry. Many are simply as fascinated by the history of man’s relationship with the sea as our maritime painters are.

Once they know what is driving a client’s project, our consultants can put together a portfolio of stylistically diverse artists, all with experience in the relevant subject matter. They can advise on who will be a good match for each commission and, once you have chosen, they will stay on hand as mediators throughout the process.

Your chosen artist will want to begin by building up research into their vessel: its movements, battles it was involved in, coastlines it departed from, the weather it endured on any given trip. Geoff Hunt PPRSMA for example will start his research in the National Archives at Kew where many original ships’ log books are kept. Using this research they will then create a compositional sketch for you to approve before moving on to the final painting.

Have a look at the below examples for inspiration and then get in contact with our art consultants to get the process started.

Sea Witch by Geoff Hunt PPRSMA

Geoff Hunt PPRSMA was commissioned by the American Club in Hong Kong to paint Sea Witch, a 19th-century clipper that had made the fastest voyage from Chine to the USA under sail.  The composition was discussed at length with the client before Geoff was given the go-ahead to start on the final painting. Geoff used contemporaneous photographs of the coastline, plans and drawings of Sea Witch, and even a tiny model of the paddle boat that appears in the background, which he made himself.


HMS Blencathra by Paul Wright RSMA 

HMS Blencathra (L24) was a Royal Navy Hunt Class Destroyer that on which the commissioner’s father had served as a radio operator during the Second World War.  There was little documentation of this vessel and so Paul built up this portrait from plans and written accounts of HMS Blencathra and the Hunt-Class Destroyers, as well as memories of the client’s conversations with his father, letters, and a few grainy wartime photos of the Blencathra in her heyday.

Find out more about Maritime Art Commissions