Calm seas in art: 7 seascapes to soothe the spirit

by | Dec 7, 2019 | Art

“Being myself a quiet individual,” wrote Polish-born British author Joseph Conrad in his 1911 novel, Under Western Eyes, “I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace.” Not everyone, of course, is of similar disposition. There are those — the Type A personalities usually— who cannot be satisfied with tranquility. They need and crave for action. Some even thrive in conflict. But surely, most humans long for some moment of peace and calmness. The following works of art, I hope, will soothe the spirit of those who seek such moments.

View of Fuji from Miho Bay, 1830
Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786–1865) / Brooklyn Museum

Evening Glow at Sea (Seta no Sekisho), from Eight Views of the Province Omi (Omi Hakkei), circa 1834
Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858) / Brooklyn Museum

Nacht in Shinagawa, 1922
Negoro Raizan (Japanese, 1880–1963) / Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Calm Sea, 1869
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819–1877) / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marine Landscape, circa 1895
Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837–1908) / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Glass Windows, Bahamas, circa 1885
Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910) / Brooklyn Museum

Calm Before a Storm, Newport, circa 1874
William Trost Richards (American, 1833–1905) / Brooklyn Museum

As William Trost Richards’ painting above shows,  calm waters can be a precursor to a storm. There is no permanent tranquility. This is true of the sea as of life itself — which is all the more reason, I believe, to treasure every moment of peace that comes our way in this troubled world.

~ Barista Uno


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