The Tall Ship Glenlee docked at Victoria Harbour in Greenock during the Tall Ships Races of 1999. After being fully restored the ship went on display for the first time – a showpiece of days gone by. It was the first time Michael had seen the ship and he immediately thought of using it as a centrepiece for his next painting.
It was the ideal prop for the composition, with a couple of French schooners berthed in the foreground. Their rigging acted as a frame for the Glenlee; while the brown tones of the harbour and masts contrasted the deep blue of the River Clyde, and vibrant colour of the ship’s hull.
The flags on the schooners added to the occasion, with ships from all over the word docked in the harbour. This, along with the warm weather – a rare occurrence in Greenock – made it a week to remember. The original work was purchased by the McLean Museum in Greenock, and hangs in their private collection.
Michael also captured The Tall Ships Races passing Gourock during the same week. While Michael’s other paintings of the Tall Ship Glenlee are Past and present – Glasgow Harbour and Final berth – Riverside Museum.