With the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition returning to Mall Galleries in October, we spoke to John Lines RSMA about his commission pieces for the shipping company Hellespont, one of which was recently donated to the International Maritime Museum Hamburg, Germany.

The world-renowned International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, Germany, is the new home to a commissioned portrait of a ship by Royal Society of Marine Artists member, John Lines. 

Nestled amongst the three thousand years of shipping history, the painting Stückgutfrachter, Cavala is now displayed alongside 40,000 maritime items held at the private collection in Hamburg. Depicting a snapshot of contemporary life at sea, the painting of the dynamic, busy port will act as historical and educational reference for future museum-goers.

The artwork in question was initially commissioned by Basil Papachristidis, then CEO of the global marine company Hellespont Shipping. Dr Papachristidis had approached Mall Galleries asking for an artist specialising in maritime subjects and wanted to commission a series of 21 paintings of multiple vessels built by the firm to decorate the company’s offices all over the world.

The Mall Galleries commissions consultancy saw Royal Society of Marine Artists member John Lines as the ideal artist for this commission, as John has many years of experience in painting ships and other related naval subjects. 

Hellespont were looking for technical accuracy and clarity, and John’s detailed final artworks fulfilled the brief. Both sides of the commission were extremely happy with the outcome, with Dr Papachristidis naming John the “perfect artist” for the job.

What started off as a commission request from a company resulted in a much-loved painting being donated to a distinguished international museum. Commissioned artwork commemorates and celebrates the journey a company or individual makes, and being able to personalise the experience through the consultants at the Mall Galleries makes an artwork all the more special.

Written by Jessica Baxter 

Images from the Hellespont Commission



An artwork commission is a personalised experience that is different for everyone, at Mall Galleries we employ Commission Consultants to guide you through the process of commissioning an artwork from choosing an artist to choosing an artwork that is suitable for your home or business.

If you would like to find out more information regarding commissioning an artwork or book a private consultation, click here.