Caronia

Scott Houston McBee (born 1962)

Gouache and India ink on paper

2007

 

 

Height: 39 inches (99.06 cm.)

Width: 87 ½ inches (223.52 cm.)

 

Specifications

Cunard Line Southampton – New York service and world cruising.

Launched in 1948

Built by John Brown & Company Limited, Clyde Bank Scotland

Length: 715 feet

Width: 91 feet

Service speed: 22 knots

Passengers: 932

 

The Caronia, christened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1948, was Britain’s biggest post-war liner, and had a duel purpose of running transatlantic crossings during the peak summer months while spending the remainder of the year on long, expensive cruises.  The hull was painted in four shades of green making her highly attractive and instantly recognizable.  The ship had the greatest single mast and the largest stack afloat, and was known as the “Green Goddess,” and the “millionaire’s ship.”

The boat was eventually sold to Andrew Konstaninidis and renamed the SS Caribia. Her last commercial voyage was in 1969.

In creating each work, Scott McBee enlarges the original builder’s plan onto a piece of graphite paper. The outline of ship is thereafter transferred onto the work. He then completes the outline in India ink, which is both waterproof and fade-proof. McBee then applies three coats of gouache. In the same process as shipbuilding, he begins by painting the hull and working from the keel up. The ship’s name marks the end of the painting process. Each work takes approximately three weeks to complete.

 

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