Watson and the Shark

Painter: John Singleton Copley

Year: 1778

Watson and the Shark was inspired by an event that took place in the harbor, Havana, Cuba. In 1749, fourteen-year-old Brook Watson was attacked by a shark while swimming in the harbor. His brave shipmates came to his rescue. Copley masterfully orchestrates all of the elements of the turbulent scene for maximum effect. Could Copley have picked a more dramatic moment to depict?