Victorian depiction of ‘Krakatoa’ at night, oil on milk glass panel, c. 1883

$580.00 AUD

Interesting Victorian oil painting on milk-glass panel, thought to represent the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa pre-1883 eruption, a night-time scene with passing shipping including a side-wheel paddle steamer.

Circa 1883  


Good condition with slight signs of age, original frame.  

Why has someone depicted Krakatoa? It’s the infamous volcano in Indonesia that still grabs headlines, violently active and a very real threat.
Victorian image of Krakatoa, c. 1883
Possibly a sidewheel paddle steamer, not unusual in the region – it was the route from Singapore to Australia.
The shipping depicted in this image is the clue: it was inconveniently placed right in the centre of the Sunda Strait, the most direct route from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. A traveller has been passing by some time in the 1870’s or early 1880’s, and witnessed the awesome sight of the brooding volcano up-close. Was this at night, with dark shadows of ships on an indigo sea, a full moon peeping though the clouds? That’s the initial impression. But another possibility is the dramatic result of the eruption: the sky was as dark as night for days. This would be a scene with the sun barely piercing the clouds of ash…. Of course the flaw with this idea is the bulk of the volcano is still there in the pre-eruption configuration. If this was the intention of the artist – to show the day turned to night by the eruption – then it could not have been an eyewitness impression, but rather the imagination of a Victorian amateur artist.
Read more about this interesting work here >>



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