The porch and table with figures creates its own space, echoed in the space
of the pier with figures behind it, drawing our eye deeper into the
image, to the spars of the docked ship, the buildings and the course of
the Thames winding into the distance.
The girl, the captain’s daughter of the painting’s title, looks in the
other direction, counterpointing our attention. We feel that if
we just turned our heads we would see what she’s seeing.
We’re not simply looking at something — we’re inside the painting . . . we’re somewhere.