Ken Marschall vs Simon Fisher breakup painting

Dan Kappes

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Which painting of the Titanic splitting in two do you like better: Ken Marschall's or the one done by Simon Fisher, which is seen on the cover of The Mammoth Book of the Titanic?
titanic splitting.jpg
titanic fisher.jpg

The one by Fisher seems to show the third funnel splitting up into many pieces.
 
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May 3, 2005
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(1) Ken Marschalll's shows the lighting (or lack of it) more realisticaly and is the more detailed.
(2) Simon Fisher's shows the ship too well lighted.
However, I believe the ship would have appeared much darker even than that shown in Ken Marschall's.
Just a dark silhouette against the starlit sky.
 
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Kyle Naber

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Visually, I like Ken’s better. It’s amazing how you can still identify pieces from within the ship as it basically explodes apart and machinery is thrown up into the air. It’s a really amazing scene. One simple thing I really love that he incorporated into it are the guy wires flying in all different directions as the decking beneath them is demolished. It really brings the feeling of motion and action into the piece.

However, it’s not to be considered accurate by today’s standards of how we believe the breakup occurred. Before the missing tower debris was really discussed, everyone assumed that the section between the third and the fourth funnels was shredded and torn apart (as shown in Ken’s painting). But through survivor testimony and forensics, we’ve discovered that the break was actually pretty clean-cut and not as chaotic as previously construed.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Ken Marschall's painting by a long way. While it may not be as accurate as present day evidence shows, IMO it is pretty close. With so many different types of structures on the deck and inside the bowels of the great liner, a break up is bound to have lots of debris, as depicted in the painting.

The one above, showing the port side of the ship, is the same one as appears in Don Lynch's book Titanic: An Illustrated History, illustrated by Marschall. But in Marschall's own cutaway book Inside The Titanic, the breakup painting shows the starboard side and a closer view of the break itself. With the submerged bow also partly seen, that painting IMO has even greater impact.
 
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SmileyGirl

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No, that was Aaron’s work. I wonder if Ken will ever update his for real...
Yes, why doesn’t Ken update this? Such beautiful pics though. I would have his paintings all over my house. But I guess they are very expensive :D
 

Dan Kappes

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Yeah, I remember watching the documentary The Final Word with James Cameron on the Blu-Ray, and Cameron told Ken Marschall that he would have to re-do his painting to show the Titanic splitting in two at a shallower angle to reflect recent findings at the wreck site, and Ken didn't seen that enthused about it. :D I bet the movie would also be less dramatic if Cameron re-edited it to show the stern rising at a shallower angle, but in the 2012 miniseries, the shallow angle is seen effectively; albeit in the background of the scene.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I bet the movie would also be less dramatic if Cameron re-edited it to show the stern rising at a shallower angle, but in the 2012 miniseries, the shallow angle is seen effectively; albeit in the background of the scene.
I think you’d be able to make the final moments pretty dramatic with modern understandings of the sinking. The sudden list to port would be a scary shot from a first-person perspective.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Oddly enough, Cameron's 2012 "re-imagining" is somewhere between what he depicted in his film and what was thought in the late 1980s in the first 2 or 3 years after discovery of the wreck. In those days there was a lot of talk about how the stern got vertical and 'swung around' after the bow section separated and fell away; there are some good illustrations to that effect in Eaton & Haas' first edition of Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy. By the mid-1990s, the thinking had changed and they believed that the bow did not separate completely after the break-up but was still connected to the stern section at the keel underwater. This is depicted in Cameron's film at the start, when the contemporary explorer in the submersible illustrates how the bow pulled the stern section down by the keel, thus causing the latter to become nearly vertical before dropping back. There was no mention of the swing around.

As you have seen in the 2012 reconstruction, the initial break-up occurred at a relatively low angle and the bow section fell away without pulling the stern upright. The, as the sea flooded the exposed deck spaces of the stern, it listed sharply to port, started to sink and swung partly around at the same time. You can see that after the stern had sunk about halfway in that manner, the movement did make it briefly vertical.

But looking at that 2102 reconstruction makes me wonder how on earth Baker Joughin managed to hang on to the end of the stern through all those movements. If he really managed it, it must have been an experience to surpass the scariest of present day Grade 5 rollercoaster rides.
 
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Dan Kappes

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You can see in the computer simulation Bodine shows Rose that the stern does swing a little and you can also sense it a bit during the final plunge scene in the film. But it doesn't list as dramatically as it does in the YouTube real time sinking video by the user Titanic Honor and Glory.
 
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Dan Kappes

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Oddly enough, Cameron's 2012 "re-imagining" is somewhere between what he depicted in his film and what was thought in the late 1980s in the first 2 or 3 years after discovery of the wreck. In those days there was a lot of talk about how the stern got vertical and 'swung around' after the bow section separated and fell away; there are some good illustrations to that effect in Eaton & Haas' first edition of Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy. By the mid-1990s, the thinking had changed and they believed that the bow did not separate completely after the break-up but was still connected to the stern section at the keel underwater. This is depicted in Cameron's film at the start, when the contemporary explorer in the submersible illustrates how the bow pulled the stern section down by the keel, thus causing the latter to become nearly vertical before dropping back. There was no mention of the swing around.

As you have seen in the 2012 reconstruction, the initial break-up occurred at a relatively low angle and the bow section fell away without pulling the stern upright. The, as the sea flooded the exposed deck spaces of the stern, it listed sharply to port, started to sink and swung partly around at the same time. You can see that after the stern had sunk about halfway in that manner, the movement did make it briefly vertical.

But looking at that 2102 reconstruction makes me wonder how on earth Baker Joughin managed to hang on to the end of the stern through all those movements. If he really managed it, it must have been an experience to surpass the scariest of present day Grade 5 rollercoaster rides.
Can you please post some photos here of the sinking/breakup illustrations in the first edition of Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy if you have a copy of the book? Also, the famous Thayer drawing shows the stern swinging around after the breakup as well. The breakup drawing also shows the bow briefly surfacing again; which probably didn't actually happen. :D

Thayer Sketch.jpg
 

Kyle Naber

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The stern probably just listed to port 45° to eventually 90°, making it seem as if the stern turned around.
 
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