Oh, that is interesting to look at - thank-you.
I wonder how far the meanings in the picture are also a comment on ‘progress’ and new technologies? I can see four other ships beside the large saying vessel; a steamship, a tiny sailboat, the rowboat reaching out to the ship in distress and the lifeboat about to launch.
They’re all dwarfed by the large ship in distress (I don’t know enough about boats to guess whether the artist is playing with scale, but the steamship looks small so they might be). In my reading, the smaller sailboat lists less and the rowboat seems stable.
So, I wonder if there’s a valid reading of this about size, scale and the human - power and grandeur - the idea of ‘war’ itself being commented on as a negative (rather than heroic) activity. And about ‘progress’ (the steamship/technologies bearing in on the older technologies of large sailing ships).
I’m not an art historian, but I do enjoy speculation (and I’m missing art galleries during lockdown here in the UK so this diversion much appreciated).
Jim - your thoughts were really interesting - I love your description of the lighthouse as a matchstick. It's significant because of its insignificance?