Mail Packet from Liverpool to Glasgow is one of Salmon’s earliest dated marine compositions. It reveals the artist’s already thorough grasp of the subject that would define his career, a quality described by distinguished author and art historian John Wilmerding in his 1971 book on Salmon: “The artist’s understanding of naval architecture and of weather conditions is evident; he creates a fine feeling for movement among these juxtaposed hulls, as the eye moves across space into depth. What is special for Salmon is the unusually loose brushwork, which here lends a unique freshness to the result. Through short, liquid accents he successfully manages to convey the actual sensations of wind and sunlight. The format must have pleased him for it reappears regularly in later paintings.”
 Wilmerding, John, Robert Salmon: Painter of Ship & Shore (Salem, MA: Peabody Museum, and Boston, MA: Boston Public Library, 1971), 77.
More information about this painting...
Private collection, Dedham, Massachusetts
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 24350, December 1974
Returned to private collection, Dedham, Massachusetts, January 1975
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 24677, January 1976
Returned to private collection, Dedham, Massachusetts, June 1976, and remained with collector until his passing, 2014
By descent to private collection, Lexington, Massachusetts, 2014 to present
- (old label, lower stretcher) 19th Century English School / (signed RS and dated 1805 / 47 The First Mail Boat, Liverpool to Glasgow, and other ships, / a view of Liverpool beyond, oil on canvas, 24 in. x 34 in.
- (torn label, top stretcher) –xhibition, Liverpool / 1907 / –(illegible)
- (typed on paper verso) #24677 Robert Salmon (1775-ca. 1845) / First Mail Packet, Liverpool to Glasgow, 1805 / 29. oil on canvas 24 x 34 inches / Signed and dated at lower right / Included in the exhibition of the / work of Robert Salmon at the / DeCordova Museum, 1967 / Listed and reproduced by John / Wilmerding in “Robert Salmon, Painter / of Ship and Shore” / Reproduced in Midland Bank Group / Calendar, 1975 – “The Story of Small / Boats in Britain”
- Wilmerding, John, Robert Salmon: Painter of Ship & Shore (Salem, MA: Peabody Museum, and Boston, MA: Boston Public Library, 1971), illus. p. 60, with a description of the painting and how it fits in Salmon’s oeuvre on p. 77.
- Wilmerding, John, “A New Look at Robert Salmon.” Antiques Jan. 1965: p. 89 illus.
Robert Salmon, The First Major Exhibition, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, March 26 – May 7, 1967