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Going gaga over old maritime photos

The past is never dead. It's not even past. ~ William Faulkner (from 'Requiem for a Nun')   Of late I have been enamoured with maritime photos dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is not only the long gone social milieu they depict that fascinates...

Fisherfolk in timeless century-old photos

There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea. ~ Kahlil Gibran (from ‘Sand and Foam’) The sea is perilous and unforgiving. Yet, fisherfolk from generation to generation wrestle with its power to earn a living and feed humanity....

10 great maritime photos from long ago

Some maritime photos from the turn of the 20th century and earlier decades can be so dull that they make you feel that you're really looking at people and things long departed. They leave you cold. Thankfully, you may stumble on old pictures that are not mere records...

10 wondrous paintings of the waterfront

I miss the waterfront. One of my most vivid childhood memories is boarding a ferry with my mother at Manila's North Harbor terminal. We were bound for Mindanao in the southern Philippines. I remember watching from the upper deck tiny fishes swim alongside the ship...

Celebrating old salts in paintings

On the great and sometimes crazy stage we call shipping, few players are more interesting than the old salts, the lobos de mar—men who cut their teeth on boats and know, as did Polish-British novelist and sea captain Joseph Conrad, that “there is nothing more...

Seduced by the charm of seashells

In 1650 Dutch Master Rembrandt paid tribute to the beauty of seashells in an etching (pictured above) titled "De schelp" (The shell). It is a remarkable piece depicting the charm and mystery of the conus marmoreus, commonly known as the marble cone. How can one not be...

Japan’s maritime spirit embodied in art

Second largest shipowning country after Greece1. Second largest shipbuilding country after South Korea2. Japan is a maritime nation indeed. More than economics, however, it is art as exemplified by Katsushika Hokusai's famous 1831 woodcut print The Great Wave off...

7 seascape paintings with a punch

In the long history of seascape paintings, some stand out because of their visual and emotional impact. They tend to stamp themselves on the mind like a scene from a classic film or a Shakespearean play. Here's a look at seven seascapes which are not easily forgotten,...

The power of the sea, the beauty of poetry

For reasons that are not hard to fathom, the sea has provided the impetus to some of the world's greatest and best loved poems. It is beautiful. It is daunting. And above all, it is mysterious. Perhaps these same conflicting qualities drove the sailors of old to...