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Lovers by the sea: A timeless celebration in art

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Maritime Art, Culture and History, Society and Culture

So much for the pandemic, declarations of seafarers as ‘key workers’, and all that nonsense about mental health training. To hijack a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of by people in the shipping business. The following are some works of art that celebrate romantic love against the backdrop of the sea. Love and the sea — are they not more enduring than the things maritime folks like to blabber about?

‘Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.-

~ Matthew Arnold, from his poem ‘Dover Beach’

On the Beach (1873)
Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)
Courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute

On the Waves of Love (1896)
Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944)
Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones (1899)
Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944)
Courtesy of Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum of Norway)

Te faruru (Here We Make Love), from the Noa Noa Suite (1893/94)
Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)
Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Romantic scene by the sea (by 1933)
Edmond Louis Dupain (French, 1847–1933)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Springtime and Love (1878)
Francesco Paolo Michetti (Italian, 1851–1929)
Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

~ Barista Uno

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