“Nelson’s Bright Yellow”
HMS Victory under false colours…
Click on the image below to see more detail.
Exhibited at the European Parliament, May 2011
By Gordon Frickers 28 x 40 cms (11″ x 16″), Oils, available, £15,000
This abstract painting
started life with an order from Nelson to the dockyard at Malta for paints to make a bright yellow paint, a colour he thought looked “more warlike” and which became the ‘signature of his ships including those who sailed with him, his “Band of brothers”.
Next, back in the early 1995 when Gordon Frickers was official artist to HMS Victory, a project for raising funds to help with her renovation there came a day while standing near HMS Victory with the keeper Peter Goodwin Gordon pointed out the bright chrome yellow the Royal Navy used on her hull was wrong.
Disbelief was followed by consternation when he said chrome yellow was not in general use until about 1818 before which it was a very expensive ‘exotic’ colour.
Many years later Peter Goodwin in his role as Keeper and Curator of Victory found a letter from Nelson for paint which included the bright yellow mix ratio.
Peter asked Frickers to run some test.
This painting is one.
“Nelson at Gibraltar” is the first painting since living memory to be sure to show correctly “Nelson’s Bright Yellow“.
By happy coincidence a visit to Her Majesties United Kingdom Hydrographic Office confirmed their findings when Gordon saw a series of Serres watercolours made at that time and very rarely exposed to light so still ‘as painted’.
Serres was official marine artist appointed by King George III
Credit where it is due: Special thanks to Peter Goodwin, Keeper and Curator of HMS Victory, author and excellent researcher.
Is there anyone alive or dead knows more about the Georgian Navy and HMS Victory in particular than Peter Goodwin?
Mutually Advantageous, Please Read Carefully.
For professional purposes we are happy to issue licences.
Always credit his name and where possible this web site.
Quoting your source helps your credibility, the artist and others to find and enjoy this art.
For educational and private use we allow a free copy. However please note; as with all artist’s work, by International law these pictures and texts belong to the artist and his descendants, so may only be copied after written permission and for commercial use, after a copyright fee has been agreed and paid.
Respect the long hours, years, the art and texts, don’t infringe.
Our fees are friendly our terms always reasonable.
Gordon Frickers © 21.07.11 updated 02,02,16, 24.08.16, 26.01.2017
Further Reading: Useful facts + excellent stories about "Nelson's Bright Yellow".
Register for appropriate, occasional updates about this site and your preferred topics.
You can stay in touch with art.
We value your visit.
Many of the paintings on this site are available as prints.
See - Print Gallery - for those pictures available as collector's special editions.
Some of the paintings on this website can be printed to special order, made specifically for you as a best quality print.
You can use the form below to enquire.