A century ago, no cameras were on the scene when the Royal Mail Ship Titanic met its fate in the North Atlantic a century ago. Since then, the world has had to rely upon the skill of the artist to bring us closer to that event than mere words would permit.

But art, if it is divorced from fact, becomes fantasy, of limited use to those wishing assistance in envisioning an event. For nearly 30 years, marine artist Michael V. Ralph has researched Titanic and other ships, and incorporates his consummate knowledge into each of his paintings.

A co-founder and former trustee of the Titanic International Society, today based in Midland Park, New Jersey, he was a featured speaker on the 1996 Titanic Research and Recovery Expedition Cruise. He assisted my writing partner John P. Eaton and me in preparing the most accurate set of deck plans for Titanic, which appear in our acclaimed book, Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, now in its third edition.

I have enjoyed a friendship with Mike for more than a quarter century. Over that time, I have seen his artistic skill grow and mature. Each of his paintings skillfully combines continuous attention to detail with his passion for the subject. Far from static interpretations, each is imbued with the romance and the pathos inherent in the Titanic’s tragically brief story.

The results are something that every Titanic aficionado should be proud to own.


Charles A. Haas Co-author,
Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy
Titanic: Destination Disaster


Morning - April 10, 1912

11:45 A.M.: The Titanic blows horns and signals imminent departure.
12:05 P.M.: Lines are cast off and Titanic began her maiden voyage and sails for Cherbourg, France

April 10 - 5:30 pm

Arrives Cherbourg, picks up more passengers

April 10 - 8:30 pm

Picks up anchor and sails for Queenstown

April 11 - 11:30 pm

Arrives Queenstown, picks up more passengers

April 12 & 13

Travels though calm waters

April 14

Warnings of Icebergs Ahead

April 14 - 11:40 pm

Hits Iceberg

April 14 - 11:50 pm

Water had poured in and risen 14 feet in the front part of the ship

April 15, 1912 - 02:20 am.

Titanic fully submerged and sinking down to eternity

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