About Geoff Hunt
Geoff Hunt is a leading figure in marine art. According to Artist Partners Ltd he is ‘one of the world’s finest painters of 18th and 19th century ships.’ Hunt is perhaps best known in popular perception for his depictions of naval scenes adorning the covers of Patrick O'Brian’s bestselling 'Aubery-Maturin' novels, a connection he began in 1988. He also has painted scenes from C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series and Julian Stockwin's Thomas Kydd series. As William Delmont notes, ‘Though he was a renowned book cover artist before his partnership with O’Brian, Hunt’s work gained more widespread commercial success through the novels.’ In a 2008 interview with Artist & Illustrators magazine, Hunt asserted ‘I find ships awesome, fascinating, and slightly frightening.’
Hunt attended Kingston and Epsom Schools of Art, 1966–70, where he studied graphic design. Upon graduation, following a couple of years in advertising, Hunt established himself as a freelance artist and designer. Hunt was Art Editor for the popular Warship quarterly journal, from its inception in 1977 until 1979.
In addition to his illustrative work, Hunt has forged a successful career exhibiting across the globe. He is a Past-President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Whilst he continues to paint historic scenes, Hunt also depicts contemporary pleasure yachts, warships and other vessels.
A wide selection of his work can be found in The Marine Art of Geoff Hunt (2004), published by Conway. Warships International Fleet Review found it ‘Spectacular and highly recommended.’ Famed for his attention to minute detail, Hunt once contacted ‘the Royal Observatory for the altitude and azimuth of the sun at a certain latitude and longitude at an exact moment in history’ to maintain the historical accuracy of one of his pieces.
In February 2007, Hunt was asked by Rear-Admiral John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust to paint an artist’s reconstruction of Henry VIII’s infamous flagship. Hunt accepted the commission, finally completing the painting in January 2009 after hours of extensive and meticulous research. An article by Hunt recounting the experience can be found in the Shipwright 2010 annual.
Hunt’s illustrations adorn The Frigate Surprise: The Design, Construction and Careers of Jack Aubrey’s Favourite Command (2008), which he co-authored with respected maritime historian, Brian Lavery. Aubrey’s creator Patrick O’Brian has proclaimed that ‘Geoff Hunt’s pictures, perfectly accurate in period and detail, but very far from merely representational, are often suffused with a light reminiscent of Canaletto.’
Hunt lives in Wimbledon with his wife and two children. Befitting his muse, Hunt’s studio is situated on the site of Merton Place, Admiral Nelson’s house.
More on Geoff Hunt Books
Geoff Hunt, RSMA, is know to millions of readers across the world as the artist responsible for the covers of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the leading marine artists of his generation and his paintings of square riggers, sea battles and naval operations, as well as deck and port scenes, truly evoke the era and workings of Nelson’s Navy and those of its enemies during the ‘Age of Sail’.
"The Marine Art of Geoff Hunt", written by the artist himself, presents over 100 paintings and sketches for the first time in a beautifully produced single volume. Geoff Hunt’s prolific career, his painting techniques and artistic influences, and the trademark meticulous primary research, that contributes to each of his canvases, are examined in a lengthy introduction. This is followed by a series of five copiously illustrated ‘Case Studies’ where the artist explains the initial inspirations, the exploration of source material and the often lengthy artistic progression that leads to the creation of a finished painting.
The major part of the volume is dedicated to a plate section focussing on four distinct themes exhibited in the artist’s output: Painting Nelson’s Navy; The American Revolution; Illustrating the Naval Writers and The Modern Marine Scene.
About the Author, Geoff Hunt is the president of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. His paintings are to be found in museum collections in the UK and the USA and in private collections worldwide, including the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. His studio is on the site of Admiral Nelson’s home in Merton Place, Wimbledon.