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Old 24-07-2012, 14:38
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Default Titanic - Last Farewell by Robert Taylor

Titanic - Last Farewell by Robert Taylor
Released April 2012

It was a bitterly cold, crystal clear night and the sea was flat and calm. In the crow's nest of RMS Titanic, four days out from Southampton, two vigilant lookouts shivered uncomfortably, the warmth of their breath steaming in the freezing air. With warnings of ice ahead they were both tense and alert, they had to be, especially as no-one had seen fit to issue them with binoculars. And then, at 11.40pm, they saw it dead ahead - an iceberg. With adrenalin pumping through their veins they rang the warning bell and hailed the bridge. As the First Officer urgently ordered 'hard-a-starboard' and put the engines into reverse, thirty-seven seconds slowly passed. Imperceptibly the Titanic began to turn, but it was too late. The lookouts could only stare in horror as the ship's starboard side struck the deadly ice. An ominous shudder ran through Titanic. Those passengers still awake glanced anxiously at one another - surely nothing could be amiss since this was the safest ship in the world, 'practically unsinkable' her owners had said, designed to float ever if three of her sixteen bulkheads were full of water. But now six were punctured and filling fast, Titanic was sinking. 'Practically unsinkable' had also meant that only twenty lifeboats had been installed, principally there to rescue others from sinking ships. Only when the final order to 'Abandon Ship' was given did the passengers realise there were nowhere near enough lifeboats to go round. In the tradition of the sea it would be a case of 'women and children first'. With tearful, heart-wrenching good-byes husbands said farewell to their families and stood bravely to await their fate, knowing their own chance of survival was probably zero. In the lifeboats the survivors could hardly bear to watch as the ship slowly died, her lights disappearing one by one until, just after a quarter past two in the morning, her stern suddenly reared and Titanic plunged to her watery grave. Over 1500 passengers and crew died with her. A few days earlier, however, the scene had been so different. The bands had played, the streamers flew and the crowds had cheered as the world's newest and largest liner slipped away from the White Star berth at Southampton for her maiden voyage to New York. RMS Titanic was a majestic sight as she sailed down Southampton Water and into the Solent accompanied by a flotilla of all shapes and sizes. This is the moment that Robert Taylor has chosen for this magnificent new painting. As some of the world's wealthiest people promenade on the deck to admire the occasion, others sipped their cocktails in opulent staterooms. The White Star had spared no expense for their important First Class passengers.

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