White Heather and Britannia I
Depicted here on a summer’s day sometime around the turn of the 20th century, royal sailing yacht Britannia is close to winning yet another victory over White Heather in a competitive race in the Solent. It is an exceptionally fine day – the air is clear and warm, the colors vibrant, and there’s just enough wind to make for a splendid race. In the background lies the Isle of Wight. Upon it a wide sloping lawn provides the perfect perch for the guests of a lawn party as they gather to enjoy a spectacular view of the competition.
The inspiration for the background was a striking castle-like structure, most likely Osborne House, as viewed from the Solent by the artist and his wife on their honeymoon. What a perfect location, they later thought, for a classic Edwardian era British family to have hosted one of those elegant manorial lawn parties.
This painting is the first in the Jim Flood series The Great Age of Sailing the Big Boats.