Oil on canvas, 18 x 23.5 inches. Christie's, London.
This scene, with its impressive seascape and wind-whipped waters, we never witness in the The Tempest; the play opens on board the sinking ship, and we learn that Miranda has witnessed the sinking in Act I, scene ii, when she says to her father Prospero:
If by your art, my dearest father, you haveProspero answers her, "Be collected. / No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart / There's no harm done."
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch
But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel
(Who had no doubt some noble creature in her)
Dashed all to pieces! O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perished!
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallowed and
The fraughting souls within her.
Waterhouse was noted for his ability to convey emotion through expression and gesture; here we cannot fully see Miranda's face, but a single simple gesture--her left hand placed over her heart--displays her concern for the passengers.