Thomas Luny was one of the most prolific and best known British Marine artists whose working life spanned nearly sixty years. Born in London in 1759, he served in the Navy, reputedly as a purser. During part of his naval career he served under Captain Tobin, who was later to become one of his companions when he went to live at Teignmouth. It is believed that he was a pupil and subsequently a close friend of Francis Holman.
He painted several large naval battle scenes, probably commissioned by the Admiralty, which accurately recorded these actions. Many of his marine paintings were scenes around the Devonshire coast. Luny’s works are outstanding in clarity of colour and smooth brushwork. Luny retired from the Navy in about 1805 due to rheumatoid arthritis and settled in Teignmouth where he continued to work until the end of his life in 1837.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1780 and continued to show his works regularly until 1802. Examples of his work can be found in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and other public collections.