“The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.”

— William Shakespeare, from Julius Cæsar, Act V, scene 1

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.

The lonely vigil: The Eddystone Lighthouse, heavy weather
Oil on canvas, 1867
Wilhelm Melbye (Danish, 1824–1882)
Courtesy of Christie’s

Bell Rock Lighthouse
Watercolour and gouache, 1819
Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775 – 1851)
Courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland
Licence: Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 3.0

Oil on canvas, 1845
Peder Balke (Norwegian, 1804-1887)
Courtesy of Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum of Norway)
Licence: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0

Lighthouse on the Norwegian Coast
Oil on canvas, 1850–1860
Peder Balke (Norwegian, 1804–1887)
Courtesy of Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum of Norway)
Licence: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0

The Eddystone Lighthouse
Mezzotint on plain paper, 1824
Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851)
Thomas Goff Lupton, Engraver (English, 1791–1873)
Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Squall, Brenton Light (boat in storm, lighthouse in background)
Oil on paperboard mounted on wood, no date
Edward Mitchell Bannister (Canadian/American, 1828–1901)
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Le phare des Casquets (The lighthouse of Les Casquets)
Drawing, 1866
Victor Hugo (French, 1802–1885)
Courtesy of Les Musees de la Ville de Paris (The Museums of the City of Paris)

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