Bridges in Japanese art have a unique charm that stems from the traditional values and ideas held by the Japanese. Amongst them: the adoration of beauty; love for nature and its changing aspects; the transcience of life; social accord; and harmony with the universe. Looking at the following works of art, one feels a certain tranquility, the kind that comes from knowing one’s place in the larger scheme of things.
A serving of art to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving Day
Marine Café Blog is happy to greet its American readers a cordial Thanksgiving Day. In celebration of this event, which is observed every fourth Thursday of November in the United States, I’d like to share the following works of art from the 19th century. I hope that this limited selection will open for all the blog’s readers a window to American history and culture.
Love, sex and the seafarer: ‘The human element’ in art
I have always objected to the use of the term “the human element” to refer to seafarers. It not only sounds as cold as the periodic table of elements invented by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. More important, it objectifies seafarers and detracts from their humanity. The following works of art show just how human they are — no less driven by love and libido than the maritime bureaucrats and pedants who label them “the human element”.
A delightful serving of Claude Monet’s marine drawings
Marine Café Blog spotlights the marine drawings of Claude Monet in celebration of his 182nd birth anniversary.
Monet, a leading light of French Impressionism, was born in Paris on 14 November 1840. His countless oil paintings continue to bedazzle the world long after he passed away on 5 December 1926. Unfortunately, they have also diverted attention away from an important part of Monet’s creative output: his drawings.
Death on the water: Four frightening works of art
Most people fear death. Yet, they are, at the same time, fascinated by the subject. The following are four of the most captivating — albeit frightening — works of art that depict death on the water.
Lighthouses in a storm: Smashing 19th-century artworks
A stormy seascape is dramatic enough. Put in a lighthouse standing against an ominous sky as giant waves swirl all around, and you have a spectacle that induces a sense of awe. The following works of art showing lighthouses in a storm are some of the most smashing from the world of 19th-century marine art.
Precious few: Lighthouses in the art of Claude Monet
In his 60-year career, French Impressionist master Claude Monet produced an astonishing number of paintings depicting the sea, beaches, boats, rivers and harbours. Rarely did he paint lighthouses. As far as I could ascertain, lighthouses figure in only four of his works. In three of them, the lighthouse is not even the main subject of the painting. This makes such artworks by Monet more precious.
Christopher Columbus is alive and kicking in art
The man in whose memory Columbus Day (12th of October) is observed every year, Christopher Columbus (Italian Cristoforo Colombo), had a dark side. As the editors of of Encyclopaedia Britannica have pointed out, “Columbus’s men pillaged villages to support themselves and enslaved large numbers of indigenous people for labor, sex, and sale in Europe.” (Columbus Day and Its Discontents). Despite this, it cannot be denied that the voyages of this Italian explorer and navigator were, in more ways than one, a turning point in history.
10 sensational marine paintings by Russian artists
Russia has been so vilified in the Western press that some people might forget that it is a great civilisation. The Russians gave the world Doestoevsky, Rachmaninoff and Mendeleev. Their contributions to the world of art have been no less significant. Ivan Aivazovsky stands tall in the pantheon of marine painters. In 2019, his seascape ‘Sunset over Ischia’ was auctioned off by Christies for £491,000 ($635,000).
10 delightful sea songs recorded over 100 years ago
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.
Frozen sunlight: Fabulous marine art by Edward Hopper
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.
Venice in the shadows: Five unforgettable etchings
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