Knell, known for his oil and watercolor paintings of seascapes and boats, was active in London during the nineteenth century. Knell’s marine paintings are characterized by a dramatic sense of light and atmospheric quality, as seen in Moonlit Harbor. The bright moon illuminates the sky, casting cool light over a harbor filled with boats. A steamboat chugs by with its small yellow and red lights reflecting in the water. Aside from these accents, the picture is of a limited palette. The water and sky range from deep to pale shades of green and gray, and the boats in the distance are mere silhouettes against the night sky. The approaching ship glistens in the moonlight, its large masts towering into the sky.