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Power of the small: tributes in art to tugboats

“Power can be held in the smallest of things,” declared a 2001 movie poster for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The maxim applies to magical rings as well as to tugboats. What would the shipping world be without the latter? Tugboats were on hand to...

Beauty and terror: ocean waves in Japanese art

Hokusai's Under the Wave off Kanagawa, also called The Great Wave, (pictured above) does more than delight the eye. It is an eloquent expression of the traditional Japanese attitude towards the sea as something to be admired and feared at the same time. The woodblock...

Visual delights: Dutch models of ships and boats

Ship models may never have the emotional or imaginative power of a seascape painting by Ivan Aivazovsky. Even so, they can be a delight to look at. Dutch models from the 19th and 18th centuries are so well crafted that they bring to life real ships and boats that have...

Dutch marine art: great drawings of boats and ships

Mention the Netherlands (or Holland) and some things immediately come to mind. Windmills, canals and dykes, tulips, clogs (called klompen by the Dutch and immortalised by Vincent van Gogh in his 1889 painting), and cheese. The list of Dutch cultural icons would not be...