13 Classic Works of Art, Marine Paintings – With Footnotes, #30b

Charles Dixon, 1872 – 1934

The Pool, 1928

Watercolour and gouache

430 mm x 750 mm

Private collection

The Pool of London is a stretch of the River Thames from London Bridge to below Limehouse. Part of the Tideway of the Thames, the Pool was navigable by tall-masted vessels bringing coastal and later overseas goods—the wharves there were the original part of the Port of London. The Pool of London is divided into two parts, the Upper Pool and Lower Pool. The Upper Pool consists of the section between London Bridge and the Cherry Garden Pier in Bermondsey. The Lower Pool runs from the Cherry Garden Pier to Limekiln Creek.

Charles Edward Dixon (8 December 1872 – 12 September 1934) was a British maritime painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose work was highly successful and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. Several of his paintings are held by the National Maritime Museum and he was a regular contributing artist to magazines and periodicals. He lived at Itchenor in Sussex and died in 1934. More on Charles Edward Dixon

 

Charles Dixon, 1872 – 1934

THE LOWER POOL, 1909

Watercolour, heightened with white

31cm x 48cm (12in x 19in)

Private collection

Charles Edward Dixon (8 December 1872 – 12 September 1934), see above

Montague Dawson, 1890 – 1973

The Torrens in California Waters

oil on canvas

28 × 42 in

Private collection

Torrens (1875 – 1910) was a clipper ship designed to carry passengers and cargo between London and Port Adelaide, South Australia. She was the fastest ship to sail on that route

It is likely that the vessel was named in honour of Colonel Robert Torrens, a principal exponent of the economic benefits of nineteenth-century colonial trade. 

The Torrens was aimed at the upper end of the market – accommodation was first and second class passengers only. Apart from the crew, she carried “a surgeon, a stewardess and a good cow”

She lost her foremast and main topmast in 1891, and while being refitting in Pernambuco a fire broke out on board. On the evening of 11 January 1899 she struck an iceberg some 40 km south west of the Crozet Islands and limped into Adelaide dismasted, with her bow stoved in. In 1906 the Torrens was sold for £1,500 (she cost £27,257 to build) to an Italian shipping line, but after running her ashore, she was sent to the shipbreakers. They were however so taken by her aesthetic appearance that they refused to break her up, and repaired her instead. But it was not long before she again ran aground. She was finally broken up at Genoa in 1910. More on the Torrens 

Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1890–1973) was a British painter who was renowned as a maritime artist. His most famous paintings depict sailing ships, usually clippers or warships of the 18th and 19th centuries. Montague was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter Henry Dawson (18111878), born in Chiswick, London. Much of his childhood was spent on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships. For a brief period around 1910 Dawson worked for a commercial art studio in Bedford Row, London, but with the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. Whilst serving with the Navy in Falmouth he met Charles Napier Hemy (18411917), who considerably influenced his work. In 1924 Dawson was the official artist for an Expedition to the South Seas by the steam yacht St.George. During the expedition he provided illustrated reports to the Graphic magazine.

After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war artist. Dawson exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, of which he became a member, from 1946 to 1964, and occasionally at the Royal Academy between 1917 and 1936. By the 1930s he was considered one of the greatest living marine artists, whose patrons included two American Presidents, Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson, as well as the British Royal Family. Also in the 1930s, he moved to Milford-Upon-Sea in Hampshire, living there for many years. Dawson is noted for the strict accuracy in the nautical detail of his paintings which often sell for six figures.

The work of Montague Dawson is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth. More on Montague Dawson

 

Vincent van Gogh,  (1853–1890)

The Stevedores (Arles,1888)

Oil on canvas

54 x 65 cm

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

When Vincent van Gogh arrived in Arles in February 1888 seeking the luminous atmosphere of the French Midi, he eschewed pointillist and Impressionist methods in favour of more synthetic forms and louder colours. The Stevedores in Arles, which clearly evidences this stylistic change, is painted with thick, elongated brushstrokes and marked colour contrasts. It shows a view of the Rhone with a blazing sunset in which the motifs of the composition— clearly influenced by Japanese art — stand out against the light. 

The impression this sight made on the artist spurred him to depict it shortly afterwards in three paintings. The first of them, Boats with Sand, features two moored boats viewed from a very oblique, high perspective, as if captured from a very tall quay from which some men unload sand, not coal, in full daylight. Later, perhaps at the end of August, he painted two similar pictures, this time showing the sunset: Coal Barges and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Stevedores in Arles. 

Vincent van Gogh  (1853–1890)

Quay with men unloading sand barges, Arles, August 1888

Oil on canvas

55 × 66 cm (21.7 × 26 in)

Museum Folkwang,  Essen, Germany.

The impression this sight made on the artist spurred him to depict it shortly afterwards in three paintings. The first of them, Boats with Sand (above), features two moored boats viewed from a very oblique, high perspective, as if captured from a very tall quay from which some men unload sand, not coal, in full daylight. Later, perhaps at the end of August, he painted two similar pictures (below), this time showing the sunset: Coal Barges and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Stevedores in Arles. More on van Gogh in Arles

Vincent van Gogh  (1853–1890)

Coal Barges, c. 1888; Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Style: Post-Impressionism

Oil, canvas

71 x 95 cm

Private Collection

Vincent van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.—died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France). Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist. More on Vincent van Gogh

Follower of Willem van de Velde the Younger, 1633 – 1707

AN ENGLISH SHIP IN A GALE ATTEMPTING TO LIE-TO

oil on canvas

29 7/8  by 24 7/8  in.; 75.9 by 63.1 cm. 

Private collection

In sailing, lying ahull is a controversial method of weathering a storm, by downing all sails, battening the hatches and locking the tiller to leeward. A sea anchor is not used, allowing the boat to drift freely, completely at the mercy of the storm. More lying ahull

Willem van de Velde the Younger (bapt. 18 December 1633; died 6 April 1707) was a Dutch marine painter. A son of Willem van de Velde the Elder, also a painter of sea-pieces, he was instructed by his father, and afterwards by Simon de Vlieger, a marine painter of repute at the time, and had achieved great celebrity by his art before he came to London. By 1673 he had moved to England, where he was engaged by Charles II, at a salary of £100, to aid his father in “taking and making draughts of sea-fights”, his part of the work being to reproduce in color the drawings of the elder Van de Velde. He was also patronized by the Duke of York and by various members of the nobility. More on Willem van de Velde the Younger

Bonaventura Peeters the Elder, ANTWERP 1614 – 1652 HOBOKEN

VESSELS AND A ROWING BOAT ON CHOPPY WATERS, NEAR A SMALL HARBOR TOWN WITH A WINDMILL, POSSIBLY HOBOKEN

Oil on panel

12 5/8  by 9 5/8  in.; 32.1 by 24.4 cm.

Private collection

Hoboken is a southern district of the arrondissement and city of Antwerp, in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located at the Scheldt river. The name of the district has origins in Middle Dutch. Each November an annual beer server race has taken place since 1777. More on Hoboken 

Bonaventura Peeters (I) or Bonaventura Peeters the Elder (23 July 1614 – 25 July 1652) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and etcher. He became one of the leading marine artists in the Low Countries in the first half of the 17th century with his depictions of marine battles, storms at sea, shipwrecks and views of ships in rivers and harbours.

Nothing is known about his early training. Bonaventura became a master in Antwerp’s Guild of Saint Luke in 1634. On 5 July 1638 he received a commission of the pensionary of Antwerp to produce maps of the Siege of Kallo and Verrebroek which had occurred only one month earlier. He was able to deliver the maps half a month later. This earned him a subsequent commission from the pensionary for a large painting of the Siege of Kallo, which he completed in collaboration with his brother Gillis. He became one of the few marine specialists active in the Southern Netherlands during the mid-17th century.

He moved in 1641 to Hoboken (Antwerp) where he lived in a spacious residence and worked in a studio. Peeters never married and died in Hoboken, aged 38 after suffering from ill health the last years of his life. More on Bonaventura Peeters

 

Bonaventura Peeters the Elder, ANTWERP 1614 – 1652 HOBOKEN

VESSELS AND A ROWING BOAT ON CHOPPY WATERS, NEAR A SMALL HARBOR TOWN WITH A WINDMILL, POSSIBLY HOBOKEN

Detail

Eugène Boudin, 1824 – 1898

LE PORT DU HAVRE AU COUCHER DU SOLEIL, c. 1882

Oil on canvas laid down on board

21 3/8 by 29 1/4 in., 54.3 by 74.3 cm

Private collection

Born in Honfleur and the son of a sailor, Boudin was drawn to the ports and coastline of northern France. The artist’s practice of painting largely en plein air, though often finishing his paintings in the studio, enabled him to endow his works with an energetic immediacy and freshness. As Boudin inscribed in one his notebooks, “Beaches. Produce them from nature as far as is possible… things done on the spot or based on a very recent impression can be considered as direct paintings” Boudin’s art was an important source of inspiration for the next generation of artists, particularly the Impressionists. He was both a friend and mentor of Claude Monet, and is credited with having first shown him the importance of painting in the open air. More on Boudin paintings

Eugène Louis Boudin; 12 July 1824 – 8 August 1898) was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. 

Born at Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1835 the family moved to Le Havre, where Boudin’s father opened a store for stationery and picture frames. Here the young Eugene worked, later opening his own small shop. In his shop, in which pictures were framed, Boudin came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in the shop their paintings. At the age of 22 he started painting full-time, and traveled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.

In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and to become a landscape painte. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin’s early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1873, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.

Late in his life he returned to the south of France as a refuge from ill-health, and recognizing soon that the relief it could give him was almost spent, he returned to his home at Deauville, to die within sight of Channel waters and under the Channel skies he had painted so often. More on Eugène Louis Boudin

 

Eugène Boudin, 1824 – 1898

FÉCAMP, LE BASSIN, c. 1892

Oil on canvas

16 1/4 by 22 1/4 in., 41.3 by 56.5 cm

Private collection

Depicting the port of Fécamp, in Seine-Maritime in Upper Normandy, the present work is a testament to Boudin’s favorite subject and to his mature style. Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, there was a struggle to understand and define the new national identity within France, and this struggle very much informed Boudin’s artistic pursuits. The country had lost the territories of Alsace and parts of Lorraine to the German Empire, significantly altering the country’s borders, topography and culture, and at this time a universal education system inclusive of French geography was established, forcing the citizenry to grapple with the essential question of what it meant to be French. Landscape painting within France was elevated to a status of even greater importance, and indeed the many seascapes and harbor scenes painted by Boudin in the final decades of the nineteenth century may be viewed as an exploration of this concern. Depicting the delineation between land and sea, coastal imagery was of great import not only for what it allowed Boudin to achieve aesthetically, but also as a visual representation of France’s geographical boundaries at a time when so many of its people felt themselves unmoored. More on this painting

Eugène Boudin, 1824 – 1898, see above

Paul Signac, 1863 – 1935

LA TURBALLE, c. 1929

Watercolor and black crayon on paper laid down on card

7 7/8 by 17 1/8 in., 20 by 45.4 cm

Private collection

La Turballe is a coastal town of Loire-Atlantique, in Pays de la Loire region. Situated to the north-west of Saint-Nazaire, the town became officially a municipality only in 1865. Until then, the territory consisted of a dozen hamlets and small villages focusing on the ” Agricultural activity, exploitation of salt marshes and fishing.

The establishment of canneries in the second half of the 19th century accelerated and accompanied the development of the port and therefore of the commune. More on La Turballe

Paul Signac, (born Nov. 11, 1863, Paris, France—died Aug. 15, 1935, Paris) French painter who, with Georges Seurat, developed the technique called pointillism.

When he was 18, Signac gave up the study of architecture for painting and, through Armand Guillaumin, became a convert to the colouristic principles of Impressionism. In 1884 Signac helped found the Salon des Indépendants. There he met Seurat, whom he initiated into the broken-colour technique of Impressionism. The two went on to develop the method they called pointillism, which became the basis of Neo-Impressionism. They continued to apply pigment in minute dabs of pure colour, as had the Impressionists, but they adopted an exact, almost scientific system of applying the dots, instead of the somewhat intuitive application of the earlier masters. In watercolours Signac used the principle in a much freer manner. After 1886 he took part regularly in the annual Salon des Indépendants, to which he sent landscapes, seascapes, and decorative panels. Being a sailor, Signac traveled widely along the European coast, painting the landscapes he encountered. In his later years he painted scenes of Paris, Viviers, and other French cities.

Signac produced much critical writing and was the author of From Eugène Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism (1899) and Jongkind (1927). The former book is an exposition of pointillism, while the latter is an insightful treatise on watercolour painting. More on Paul Signac

 

Joaquín Sorolla, 1863 – 1923

Running Along The Beach, c. 1908; Spain

Oil, canvas

50 31/32  x 41 1/32 in. (129.5  x 104.2 cm)

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 – 10 August 1923) was a Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. More on Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

 

Acknowledgement: Sotheby’s,  and others


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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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