Boats in a Rough Sea off Calais
Research by Marjorie Gregson
Alfred Herbert was baptised on 9 December 1818 at Christ Church, Southwark, Surrey, the son of Peter Herbert, a Thames waterman and his wife, Harriet. He was apprenticed to a boat builder but decided to become an artist, although self-taught. His early experiences on the Thames gave him knowledge of coastal shipping at first hand.
He painted watercolours of coastal and fishing scenes, mainly of Suffolk, the Netherlands and views of the Thames. However, his paintings were not very popular and he could only sell them to dealers at low prices.
He exhibited 43 works at the Royal Academy and also exhibited at the Suffolk Street Gallery and at The Society of British Artists.
On 21 July 1849 he married Emily Maria, daughter of William Ford, a carpenter. Herbert died suddenly on 8 January 1861 at The Common, Barnes, Surrey, of 'congestion of bowels and lungs ..... terminating in cerebral apoplexy'. His widow, three sons and daughter were left in distressed circumstances.
He was a fine marine artist, much admired for his skills depicting shipping moving through water. His short working life robbed him of greater renown.
Other works include
Wreck off Appledore, North Devon )
Man-of-War, off Dover ) Victoria and Albert Museum
A Schooner and a Dutch Vessel Close Hauled in a Fresh Breeze in St Helier’s Bay (1846)
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich