Saturday, 14 October 2017

The mystery of the Ramsgate painting of Kennett Beacham Martin.

These three paintings of Ramsgate Harbour have recently appeared on the internet as © Ramsgate Library and ascribed to the artist Kennett Beacham Martin and all dated 1821.
 Picture 1

 Picture 2

Picture 3

Obviously as the Ramsgate Harbour we have now, inner basin, outer harbour, east pier west pier, east pier extension were all completed by 1791, while these paintings could have been painted in 1821 they all show the harbour as it would have looked before 1750. 

This picture of Ramsgate says on it that it was printed in 1791 and as you can see it was drawn from up on the end of the pier near the lighthouse.

Ok something is wrong here either Kennett Beacham Martin painted them all in 1821 and they were paintings of how he imagined the harbour to have been before 1750, or they were painted by different people at different times, any ideas anyone. I have labelled them pictures 1, 2 and 3 and will have a go at putting some answers below.

When it comes to old paintings of Ramsgate I think the authenticity of this one which is ascribed to Benjamin West and thought to date from 1788 is ok, I should point out that it isn’t signed or dated.

Charles Busson in The Book of Ramsgate describes picture 3 as “The new East Pier from the old harbour Oil painting 1751.(KLC)”

1 comment:

  1. I think they could have been painted by three different people. The styles definitely look different.


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