Portraits of Ships

From the 19th century to shipspotters

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Portraits of Ships

Since ancient times, graphic representations of ships have been made, but rarely is it possible to identify the ship. In other words, to know its name and history. With this exhibition, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona shows how the portraits of ships have evolved in the hand of technological advances and social changes: adapting to the representation of images of each moment, changing the reasons for making the portrait, the person who makes the portrait, as well as the profiles of the authors and the way to disseminate them.

The exhibition begins with a brief introduction, showing some records of the 18th century; from then, a chronological journey is made showing how the way of making these portraits and the techniques that have been used has changed. From the 19th century, with the growth of large shipping companies and the beginning of a great demand and production of painted portraits of ships, to the present day with the shipspotters, present in ports around the world, which in addition to images, also share technical information of the vessels.

Visit the virtual exhibition



  • From 09/06/2023
  • to 17/11/2024


  • From 10:00 to 20:00


  • Naus de les Drassanes (nau 1)


  • Elements with large print or optical aids available
  • Tactile elements available


  • OrganizersMuseu Marítim de Barcelona