The ship portrayed above was built in 1878 by William Metcalf whose shipyard was located on Water Street in Damariscotta, Maine It was the last ship Metcalf would build before he died in 1879. From 1878 to 1896, the “Patrician” sailed to many ports-of-call around the world. By 1896 it was owned by an Australian company and was hauling coal from Australia to New Zealand when it foundered in a three-day gale in the Tasmin Sea. Newspaper accounts at the time indicate that entire crew was rescued by the British ship, S. S. Fifeshire. A recently discovered painting of the sinking and rescue is online.
The painting was executed in 1881 by Marie Edouard Adam, a ship portrait painter of Le Havre, France. For a short biography of the artist and examples of his paintings, see pp 131 - 136 of Michael E. Leek’s, “The Art of Nautical Illustration.”
The largest public collection of Adam’s work can be seen at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.