Old song recordings are a delight to listen to. They have a certain charm, a character, like vintage wine. They can bring back memories of one’s childhood… of grandparents who are no longer around… and of family phonographs that have long fallen silent.
The American realist painter Edward Hopper (1882–1967) is best known for his works depicting 20th-century urban life. However, he also produced a good deal of marine art that is just as haunting. In the following paintings, Hopper rendered sunlight in a way that adds an air of mystery and subtle symbolism to the works.
A painting of Venice in radiant colours is captivating. But an etching that shows the fabled city filed with shadows can be more powerful. It may transfix the viewer and set loose one’s imagination
America’s Flagship. A national icon. An American original…
The list of accolades to the SS United States is long and each one is well-deserved. She is the largest ocean liner to be built in the United States and the fastest ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Alas, she has been slowly rusting away since being laid up in Philadelphia in 1996. Various attempts to restore and/or repurpose her have met with failure. Still, the SS United States Conservancy, the ship’s present owner, is hopeful that the latest redevelopment plans of New York-based RXR Realty will give her a new lease of life.
The term “old salt” is widely understood to mean an experienced or seasoned mariner. But how many years of sailing experience does it take for one to be given the tag? I have known some fellows who chalked up enough seagoing service to get licensed as masters in their early 30s. Can they be called “old salts”?
Some of the most alluring and interesting artworks that feature Venice are those executed in watercolour. The reason for this has as much to do with the peculiarities of the medium as with the timeless appeal of the city’s grand architecture and its quaint bridges and charming gondolas.
The small Paris circle of artists who started what was to become known as Impressionism included a woman. Her name: Berthe Morisot (born 14 January 1841, Bourges, France—died 2 March 1895, Paris). By all indications, Morisot was liked and considered an equal by the other members of the group, which included the great Claude Monet. Even so, she had to put up with 19th-century male prejudice.
The 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn painted only one seascape. This is not so surprising. Religious subjects, mythological characters, and portraits make up the bulk of Rembrandt’s oeuvre. But how one wishes that he had created more sea paintings
Bay or harbour? Which of these two terms to use can sometimes pose a dilemma. Official names help to some extent — e.g., “New York Harbor” and “Manila Bay”. But one may well ask: what is the difference between the two given that ships regularly come in and out of both places?
The pilot boats of the past relied on sail or steam power and were significantly slower than their modern-day counterparts. But they were known for their agility, which was a testament to the skill of those who navigated them. They also had a certain charm.
The expression “to swear like a fishwife” evokes the image of a loud and foul-mouthed woman. Although the analogy has the ring of truth, it does not do justice to the fishwives of old. These women, who were often wives or daughters of fishermen, epitomised strength, industry and fortitude. Consider the tasks that they usually had to perform:
The Japanese have a love affair with the moon that goes back centuries. It is reflected in their traditional art and poetry and the annual moon-viewing festival called tsukumi. It is not just the moon’s beauty that drives this lunar mania.