About Geoff Hunt
Geoff Hunt is one of the world’s finest painters of 18th and 19th-century ships. Through his research for paintings, he is a leading authority on naval history and ship architecture of the period and has a special interest in the ships and commands of Lord Nelson. Geoff is past-President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
Geoff is well known 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 has also painted scenes from C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series and Julian Stockwin's Thomas Kydd series. In a 2008 interview with Artist & Illustrators magazine, he asserted ‘I find ships awesome, fascinating, and slightly frightening.’
Geoff attended Kingston and Epsom Schools of Art, 1966–70, where he studied graphic design. Upon graduation, following a couple of years in advertising, he established himself as a freelance artist and designer, and was Art Editor for the popular Warship quarterly journal, from its inception in 1977 until 1979.
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, he 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. He accepted the commission, finally completing the painting in January 2009 after hours of extensive and meticulous research. His article recounting the experience can be found in the Shipwright 2010 annual.
Geoff Hunt's paintings illustrate 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.’
Geoff 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.
About The Kydd Series
Published by Hodder Headline, Julian Stockwin's phenomenally successful Kydd series of novels, closely based on real events from history, is the story of one man’s journey from pressed man to Admiral in the Great Age of Fighting Sail. Geoff Hunt was commissioned to create the paintings that were used for the cover art of the first eight books in the series: Kydd; HMS Artemis; Seaflower; Mutiny; Quarterdeck; Tenacious; Command and The Admiral's Daughter
Limited edition prints of Geoff Hunt's images featured on the covers of all the books are available in this section.
Julian Stockwin writes: "Each year Geoff and I have a most enjoyable discussion about the cover of the next book. Geoff actually reads the while manuscript and I can only admire his talent in distilling the essence of each book in one superb visual experience......To me his paintings, perhaps more than those of any other artist, have a compelling immediacy and sense of vitality, especially in his work of the great age of sail, a love we both share."
Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy.
More information can be found on his website at www.JulianStockwin.com