The above painting is actually a depiction of a real-life event. It portrays the swimmer, London merchant Brook Watson being attacked by a shark off Havana, Cuba, when he was 14 years old. As a result of the attack Watson lost his leg. I first saw a picture of this painting in an art magazine back in the '80s. Copley, as an artist, did a magnificent job capturing the facial expressions of all his subjects: the surprise, horror and desperation of the swimmer, and the utter helplessness of the sailors in the rowboat watching the tragedy unfold. I can't imagine what it would be like doing the backstoke and looking up to see a 1,000 pound hungry shark 2 feet away. Sucked to be him.