John Harwood is known for painting in a similar style of Robert Salmon. Between the years of 1818 and 1828, following Salmon’s departure for America, Harwood exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
‘Eclipse’ was launched from Dover in 1807 as a Royal Navy brig-sloop, serving as ‘HMS Eclipse’ until 1815, where she was sold for mercantile service. For eight years, she traded with India, until transitioning to a whaler boat in 1823. Following the signature and date included in the painting, it would suggest that Harwood painted Eclipse in 1825, in the prime of his artistic career. Harwood’s depiction would suggest that at this point, Eclipse no longer served as a navy boat, but instead either as a mercantile vessel or a whaler. Eight men visibly occupy the merchant vessel – following its service as a mercantile vessel, Eclipse made seven voyages as a whaler from 1823 to its last voyage in 1846.