Martin's Lusitania Gallery

I am planning to post some of my Lusitania artwork here

and first up is "Two Minutes Later" an underwater perspective of the hull and the infamous hole.


Thanks Michael, definitely watch this space. I did the unerwater stuff first and then, faced with a bank sea surface hatched the idea of showing something of what was above it. It may look a bit rudimentary but I'm pleased with the result. I may do it as a canvasboard.


>>It may look a bit rudimentary...<<

In a way, it is, but it's not that far removed from how a diver would actually percieve the ship from that particular vantage point either. You might want to tweek it a bit so it doesn't look quite as broken up, but you won't have to tweek it that much.
thanks Michael and while I'm at it I should remember to include the draught marks on her stem and forefoot. I sometimes get carried away in the idea and putting it out that I may omit a detail I considered a short while before.

A change of medium from cg to acrylic on canvas this time.

Ten Minutes Later - the focsle is awash and the screws are clearing the surface prior to the ship settling back into the sea again as the lower ports admit more water.
This was inspired/encouraged by Stewart Williamsons' painting from the same POV and also as a critical answer to Norman Wilkinsons' famous painting.



Nice work, Martin.

A few tips, if you want to go for complete autheticity.

At this point, there was a group of men aft in second class, cutting all the lashings on the collapsibles, so that they might wash free as the ship sank.

Dr Carl Foss was up against the port prop, helping a man who was gouged by it. There was a large cluster of debris near them.

Dwight Carlton Harris was directly in your foreground, having jumped from the well deck as it was about to submerge. He was wearing a store bought life jacket, and was 25 yards from the stern of the ship when she finally sank.

To fully...capture...this moment, you need to create a sense of motion. The ship was at the start of a violent roll to starboard. Have the smoke angling to indicate that. Have water coming off the port prop, and port side, as they come out of the water, and have violent eddies around the starboard prop as it begins to go under. Have the people reacting as they would have been, by reaching towards things, steadying themselves...etc.

That is the problem with both the Wilkinson painting, and the painted illustration in the Ballard/Dunsmore book. Neither describe an identifiable moment.
thanks James and Jim. Jim especially for your detail.
both props are starboard ones and are still turning slowly.

when Lest We Forget comes out I wil be studying it for anything that will inform other planned works.

thanks again and best regards

I have updated the underwater view, Is this what you had in mind?

Jim, I will make those recommended changes. I'm just mulling it over at the moment.
rgards Martin

At the point you are painting, there are MANY more accurate small details you can add that were lacking in the generic image in that book.

~The Richards family, (father, mother, two pre-teenged sons and an infant) were leaning against the bulkhead beside the second class entrance on their boat deck. All but the infant had life jackets.

~Norman and Hilda Stones were at the railing, preparing to slide down some ropes. She was removing their travel money from her bag and putting it into his pockets.

~there were at least 83 people in the vicinity of boat 15, and 35 in the vicinity of 17. 15 pulled an additional twenty people out of the water immediately after the ship sank, and 17 at least ten. So, you'll need a fairly tight crowd aft on the boat deck. There was a father with an infant who did not make it into 17, if you want to get VERY precise.

~Mr and Mrs Naish were in the angle between one of the unlaunched second class lifeboats and the rail, watching the horizon move as the ship heeled over.

~Mrs Logan and a crew member were removing her infant son, who she had placed inside her life jacket.

~Structural damage. Okay...this is neat. Apparently, something big fell off the ship at about the time you are painting. Two witnesses who were on the docking bridge described the bow falling off. Obviously THAT didnt happen, but many MANY people who were in the water to starboard described the sudden, violent, collapse of something forward on the boat deck. What that something WAS cannot be exactly determined, yet, but quite a few described it as a section of the liner's side caving in. Others described it as a pile of "paraphrenalia" falling off the funnel deck and into the water. Who knows?

~Mrs. Bretherton, who was about to enter a boat with her 3 year old son, had noticed smoke coming out of the floor, and the wall vents, when she ran down to her C Deck second class cabin to rescue her child. Others commented on the presence of smoke in the ship. You need at least some smoke seepage in second class... witnesses saw it. It wasn't like the major smoke visible forward in first class, but it was there.

~Marguerite Kay, 9 months pregnant, and her pre-teenage son had just stepped out of a door on to the boat deck.

There are many more authenticating details, but those make a good start.
Jim, Many thanks for that rich detail and also for your info on funnel #3 and the lihting failure. Some of the boat deck detail would be good for this...

I had seen the original in LWF and elsewhere and saw the potewntial. Jim, I hope you don't mind the orinal image that inspired it. I saw the scene first and then saw people but I'm still holding out for more info, until today that is.

Michael, thanks for that.

Martin...if you look in Mike's Bestic article, there is a photo taken on the boat deck, April 17-25 1915, that shows the final, and very cluttered, configuration of the boats.
With a careful reading of backposts by Jim Kalafus and others I have been able to created a diagramatic representation of what happened to the lifeboats during abandonment. A copy of this exists in layers in case new info comes to light.