Tag Archives: seascapes

#FineArtFriday: Dunes Under the Sun by Anna Boch

Anna_Boch_006Title: “Dunes Under the Sun”

Artist:  Anna Boch

Medium:  oil on canvas

Dimensions: (62 x 95 cm) by the Belgian painter

Collection: Musée d’Ixelles (Belgium)

What I love about this painting:

Anna Boch painted the dunes on summer day along an ocean strand. The landscape she gives us looks and feels real, as if we were walking through the dunes. She captured the soft grittiness of high-piled sand, and the hardy brown grasses struggling to conquer the dunes and reach the sun. No sooner does the grass emerge from the sand than the wind and waves bury it again. Still, the grass continues its battle. Every tough blade climbing into the sunshine is a win.

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

Anna Rosalie Boch (10 February 1848 – 25 February 1936) was a Belgian painter, born in Saint-VaastHainaut. Anna Boch died in Ixelles in 1936 and is interred there in the Ixelles CemeteryBrussels, Belgium. She was born into the fifth generation of the Boch family, a wealthy dynasty of manufacturers of fine china and ceramics, still active today under the firm of Villeroy & Boch

Anna Boch participated in the Neo-Impressionist movement. Her early works used a Pointillist technique, but she is best known for her Impressionist style which she adopted for most of her career. A pupil of Isidore Verheyden, she was influenced by Théo van Rysselberghe whom she met in the Groupe des XX.

Besides her own paintings, Boch held one of the most important collections of Impressionist paintings of her time. She promoted many young artists, including Vincent van Gogh, whom she admired for his talent and who was a friend of her brother Eugène BochLa Vigne Rouge (The Red Vineyard), purchased by Anna Boch, was long believed to be the only painting Van Gogh sold during his lifetime. The Anna Boch collection was sold after her death. In her will, she donated the money to pay for the retirement of poor artist friends.

140 of her own paintings were left to her godchild Ida van Haelewijn, the daughter of her gardener. Many of these paintings show Ida van Haelewijn as a little girl in the garden. In 1968, these 140 paintings were purchased by her great nephew Luitwin von Boch, the CEO of Villeroy & Boch Ceramics. The paintings remained in the house of Ida van Haelewijn until her death in 1992. The Anna & Eugène Boch Expo opened 30 March 2011.


Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Anna Boch 006.JPG,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Anna_Boch_006.JPG&oldid=555267549(accessed July 21, 2022).

Wikipedia contributors, “Anna Boch,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anna_Boch&oldid=1063159988 (accessed July 21, 2022).

Wikipedia contributors, “Eugène Boch,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eug%C3%A8ne_Boch&oldid=1088797052 (accessed July 21, 2022).

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#FineArtFriday: Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth J.M.W. Turner 1842

J.M.W. Turner

Title: Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth

Artist: J. M. W. Turner

Year: 1842

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 91 cm × 122 cm (36 in × 48 in)

Location: Tate, London, Great Britain

About this Picture, Via Wikipedia:

The painting depicts a paddle steamer caught in a snow storm. This marine painting is showing a Romantic era’s painter’s depiction of a snowstorm on water at its best, fully developing the bold, daring Romantic fantasy of Turner. Turner was unrivaled in depicting the natural world unmastered by mankind and exploring the effects of the elements and the battle of the forces of the nature. Turner worked first as a watercolorist, and he started to work much later with oils. He later applied the techniques he learned in watercolour onto oil paintings.

It is typical of the late style of Turner. Turner’s tints and shades of colours are painted in different layers of colour, the brushstrokes adding texture to the painting. The colours are monochromatic, only a few shades of grey, green and brown are present, having the same tone of colours. The silvery pale light that surrounds the boat creates a focal point, drawing the viewer into the painting. The smoke from the steamboat spreads out over the sky, creating abstract shapes of the same quality like the waves.

An inscription on the painting relates that The Author was in this Storm on the Night the “Ariel” left Harwich. Turner later recounted a story about the background of the painting:

“I did not paint it to be understood, but I wished to show what such a scene was like; I got the sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it; I was lashed for four hours, and I did not expect to escape, but I felt bound to record it if I did.”

He was 67 years old at the time. Some later commentators doubt the literal truth of this account. Other critics accept Turner’s account, and one wrote, “He empathized completely with the dynamic form of sovereign nature.”  This inscription allows us to better understand the scene represented and the confusion of elements.

Turner had investigated the interactions between nature and the new technology of steamboats in at least five paintings in the previous decade. Throughout his career, Turner engaged with issues of urbanism, industry, railroads and steam power. [1]

About the Artist, Via Wikipedia:

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851), known in his time as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings. He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper. He was championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

Turner was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower-middle-class family. He lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, and exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he also served as an architectural draftsman. He earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were often begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828. He travelled to Europe from 1802, typically returning with voluminous sketchbooks.

Intensely private, eccentric and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters, Eveline (1801–1874) and Georgiana (1811–1843), by his housekeeper Sarah Danby. He became more pessimistic and morose as he got older, especially after the death of his father, when his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, and his art intensified. In 1841, Turner rowed a boat into the Thames so he could not be counted as present at any property in that year’s census. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, and died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London. [2]


Credits and Attributions:

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Snow_Storm:_Steam-Boat_off_a_Harbour%27s_Mouth&oldid=1000619190 (accessed March 3, 2022).

[2] Wikipedia contributors, “J. M. W. Turner,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=J._M._W._Turner&oldid=1075008053 (accessed March 3, 2022).

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Joseph Mallord William Turner – Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth – WGA23178.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_Snow_Storm_-_Steam-Boat_off_a_Harbour%27s_Mouth_-_WGA23178.jpg&oldid=618892271 (accessed March 3, 2022).

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#FineArtFriday: Fishermen at Sea by J. M. W. Turner 1796

Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_Fishermen_at_Sea_-_Google_Art_ProjectArtist: J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851)

Title: Fishermen at Sea

Genre: marine art

Depicted place: The Needles, off the Isle of Wight

Date: 1796

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: Height: 914 mm (35.98 in); Width: 1,222 mm (48.11 in)

What I love about this painting:

I love seascapes, in all their many forms. This particular painting is dark in many ways beyond the obvious. It is a night scene, and it tells us a story of the dangers that fishermen face. Fish don’t care about the weather and some fish can only be caught at night.

If you must go out in the stormy dark, sometimes the catch is death.

We see an event unfolding by moonlight, observed by three seagulls sailing on the wind. Two boats, one a small vessel and the other a larger boat, tossing upon the rough sea, both with their sails furled. This tells us they fear being driven onto the rocks known as the Needles.

A line has been cast toward the larger boat, but no one is tending it. Nearly all the art scholars say it is a fishing line, but it seems rather stout for a fishing line, and there is only one line in the water although two ships are braving the storm. Waves threaten to wash everything overboard on both boats.

I’m a storyteller; to my imagination this scene looks less like a fishing expedition and more like a rescue, as if the rope has been cast toward the other vessel to bring it close.

This is the beauty of great art. It inspires the imagination to think beyond the obvious, to look outside the accepted view and to find new ways of looking at things.

The warm glow of lantern in the stern of the smaller boat casts little light and is the only warmth in this scene. The moon has emerged from behind the clouds and illuminates the action.

Whether this is merely a rough night of fishing or a rescue at sea, this a powerful moment of fear and bravery.

About this painting via Wikipedia:

Fishermen at Sea, sometimes known as the Cholmeley Sea Piece, is an early oil painting by English artist J. M. W. Turner. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796 and has been owned by the Tate Gallery since 1972. The painting measures 36 by 48.125 inches (91.44 cm × 122.24 cm). It was the first painting by Turner to be exhibited at the Royal Academy. It was praised by contemporary critics and founded Turner’s reputation, as both an oil painter and a painter of maritime scenes. Art historian Andrew Wilton has commented that the image: “Is a summary of all that had been said about the sea by the artists of the 18th century.”

The painting depicts a moonlit view of fishermen on rough seas near the Needles, of the Isle of Wight. It juxtaposes the fragility of human life, represented by the small boat with its flickering lamp, and the sublime power of nature, represented by the dark clouded sky, the wide sea, and the threatening rocks in the background. The cold light of the Moon at night contrasts with the warmer glow of the fishermen’s lantern. [1]

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851), known in his time as William Turner,[a] was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings. He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper. He was championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

Turner was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower-middle-class family. He lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, and exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he also served as an architectural draftsman. He earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were often begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828. He travelled to Europe from 1802, typically returning with voluminous sketchbooks.

Intensely private, eccentric and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters, Eveline (1801–1874) and Georgiana (1811–1843), by his housekeeper Sarah Danby. He became more pessimistic and morose as he got older, especially after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, and his art intensified. In 1841, Turner rowed a boat into the Thames so he could not be counted as present at any property in that year’s census. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, and died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London. [2]


Credits and Attributions:

Fishermen at Sea, J. M. W. Turner, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Fishermen at Sea,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fishermen_at_Sea&oldid=1000617338 (accessed January 21, 2022).

[2] Wikipedia contributors, “J. M. W. Turner,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=J._M._W._Turner&oldid=1062349164 (accessed January 21, 2022).

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#FineArtFriday: Accident at the Old Pier, by Andreas Achenbach 1863

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Artist: Andreas Achenbach  (1815–1910)

Title: Westphalian Watermill

Genre: landscape art

Date: 1863

Medium: oil on panel

Dimensions: Height: 92.5 cm (36.4 in) Width: 70.8 cm (27.8 in)

Collection: Kunsthalle Bremen 

Object history: 1865: purchased by Kunsthalle Bremen

Inscriptions: Signature and date bottom left: A. Achenbach 1863

What I love about this painting:

The scene depicted here is both historical, and current. It is a scene that plays out in our modern world in the same way as it did in 1863.

No matter what part of the world you live, anyone who lives near the sea will recognize the style of the rickety, weathered pier. Storms and saltwater wreak their will on both the wooden docks and the hubris of those who think to conquer the waves. Wood is no match for the storm; we fish and travel the waters at the mercy of the weather, and if the wind is wrong, approaching the dock can be dicey.

Along the pier, men work to keep the boat from crashing. A ship of that size would take out at least a section of the dock, if not the whole dock.

To this day, there is only one way to fend a boat away from a bad docking if they are at the mercy of the storm, and that is what we see here. Dockworkers push the vessel with poles to hold it off, hoping to reduce its momentum. A timber floats in the waves, as the boat has struck the pier at least once with the full force of the gale winds.

For the crew, disembarking will be a challenge. Should these sailors remain on board or try to jump onto the pier, risking being crushed between the rolling, lurching ship and the waves?

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

Andreas Achenbach (29 September 1815, Kassel – 1 April 1910, Düsseldorf) was a German landscape and seascape painter in the Romantic style. He is considered to be one of the founders of the Düsseldorf School. His brother, Oswald, was also a well known landscape painter. Together, based on their initials, they were known as the “Alpha and Omega” of landscape painters. [1]


Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Achenbach Havarie am alten Pier@Albert König Museum20160904.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Achenbach_Havarie_am_alten_Pier@Albert_K%C3%B6nig_Museum20160904.jpg&oldid=526736266 (accessed August 19, 2021).

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Andreas Achenbach,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Andreas_Achenbach&oldid=1037476363 (accessed August 19, 2021).

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#FineArtFriday: The Gust by Willem van de Velde the Younger ca. 1680

Title: De Windstoot (English: The Gust) by Willem van de Velde the Younger

Artist: Willem van de Velde the Younger  (1633–1707)

Genre: marine art. Description: A ship in high seas in a heavy storm. A three-masted ship on a high wave. To the left a smaller vessel.

Date: Circa 1680

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: Height: 77 cm (30.3 in); Width: 63.5 cm (25 in)

Collection: Rijksmuseum

What I love about this painting:

Willem van de Velde the Younger captured the emotion of  a terrifying day at sea. Darkness in the middle of the day, the wild seas, raging winds–this ship is at the mercy of mountainous waves.

The storm hit suddenly, catching the ship before all the sails could be reefed. The force of the gale is such that the wind in the unfurled sail could capsize the ship. At the very least, they’ve most likely lost that sail.

Will those sailors make it back to port?

We can only hope.


Credits and Attributions:

De Windstoot (English: The Gust) by Willem van de Velde the Younger, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons 1707.

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:De Windstoot – A ship in need in a raging storm (Willem van de Velde II, 1707).jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:De_Windstoot_-_A_ship_in_need_in_a_raging_storm_(Willem_van_de_Velde_II,_1707).jpg&oldid=387246804 (accessed October 23, 2020).

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#FineArtFriday: Off the Coast of Cornwall by William Trost Richards 1904

Artist: William Trost Richards  (1833–1905)

Title: Off the Coast of Cornwall

  • Genre: landscape art
  • Date: 1904
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions : Height: 55.9 cm (22 in); Width: 91.4 cm (35.9 in)
  • Collection   Private collection
  • Inscriptions: Signature and date bottom left: W.T. Richards.04.

What I love about this painting:

It is a blustery day, along a rugged seacoast. Intermittent rain squalls blow through, and when one passes the sun peeps out, the bright lull between storms. The sea is that dark greenish color reflecting the sky, a quality stormy waters here in the North Pacific coast often have. It is of a shore in Cornwall, England, but it feels as familiar as if it were the coast of my home, Washington State.

What I love most about how Richards depicted the water is the milk-glass opaqueness of the green water and the way the light seems to shine through the waves.

About the Artist via Wikipedia:

William Trost Richards  rejected the romanticized and stylized approach of other Hudson River painters and instead insisted on meticulous factual renderings. His views of the White Mountains are almost photographic in their realism. In later years, Richards painted almost exclusively marine watercolors.

In the summer of 1874 Richards visited Newport, Rhode Island, and became enthralled with the area’s sublime coastline. He purchased his first of several Newport area homes in 1875 and continued to paint there for the rest of his life, dividing time between Newport and Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he purchased a farm near the Brandywine in 1884. Richards made many excursions to Europe, especially Britain and Ireland, where he produced an important body of work.

He was married to the the poet and playwright Anna Matlack, with whom he had eight children, only five of whom lived past infancy. Matlack educated the children at home to a pre-college level in the arts and sciences. One of their sons, Theodore William Richards, would later win the 1914 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Anna Richards Brewster, their sixth child, went on to become an important painter in her own right, having received an early arts education from her father as well.

Richards was one of the few 19th century American landscape artists who was equally skilled as a watercolorist and a painter in oils. His drawings are considered among the finest of his generation. Many of his drawing still survive.

Today, Richards is highly regarded for the luminist seascapes, images imbued with light and atmosphere, that he created along the Rhode Island, New Jersey and British coasts. Luminist landscapes emphasize tranquility, and often depict calm, reflective water and a soft, hazy sky.


Credits and Attributions:

Off the Coast of Cornwall, by William Trost Richards / Public domain

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:William Trost Richards – Off the Coast of Cornwall.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:William_Trost_Richards_-_Off_the_Coast_of_Cornwall.jpg&oldid=288660467 (accessed June 4, 2020).

Wikipedia contributors, “William Trost Richards,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Trost_Richards&oldid=939570835 (accessed June 4, 2020).

Wikipedia contributors, “Anna Matlack Richards,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anna_Matlack_Richards&oldid=933481876 (accessed June 4, 2020).

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