In this fine 18th Century seascape, Serres depicts two fishing vessels returning to St. Peter Port harbour, off Castle Cornet, Guernsey, in a strong swell. The sun is shining through billowy white clouds illuminating the vast defensive walls of the port. In the foreground, a fishing boat is healing over in a strong gust, it's sails full; the vessel in front is taking down it's sails as it nears the coast.
Built on the former tidal island of Little Russel, sited off the town of St. Peter Port, Castle Cornet was constructed over a fifty-year period from 1206-56 following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. Besieged and captured by the French in 1339, when its garrison was massacred, the castle remained basically unaltered until 1545-48 when it was extensively remodelled to reflect the new realities of the age of cannon and gunpowder. The official residence of the Governor of Guernsey until 1672, when it was severely damaged by a lightning strike on its powder magazine, the castle later became permanently joined to the island when it was integrated into the new southern breakwater completed after the Napoleonic Wars.
With 'Godfrey', sold Jan 14th 1953, as 'A view of Jersey'.