The natural aptitude of the French for seizing the picturesqueness of things seems to be peculiarly evinced in what paintings and engravings they have of their whaling scenes. The half-emptied line-tub floats on the whitened sea; the wooden poles of the spilled harpoons obliquely bob in it; the heads of the swimming crew are scattered about the whale in contrasting expressions of affright; while in the black stormy distance the ship is bearing down upon the scene. Who Garnery the painter is, or was, I know not. Respectively, they represent attacks on the Sperm and Right Whale. Garneray's depictions were mentioned in Herman Melville 's novel Moby-Dick:. Some of the paintings were given to the Paris Chamber of Commerce by the industrialist Meunier. Ross Browne are pretty correct in contour; but they are wretchedly engraved.
Richard Rose's detailed analysis of the materials used in the writing of Mes Pontons The Floating Prisonshows the general unreliability of Garneray as a writer of verifiable history.
Ambroise Louis Garneray