A serving of art to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving Day

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

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”.

Recent Posts

Four biggest sins of manning agents against seafarers

Four biggest sins of manning agents against seafarers

Ship manning agents may have wealth and influence, but they do not, on the whole, enjoy a good reputation. For this they only have themselves to blame. Many of these glorified clerks are rogues who protect their own interests and those of the shipowners they serve, not the interest of seafarers. The following are four of the most egregious acts that give the crewing business a bad name.

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Precious few: Lighthouses in the art of Claude Monet

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.

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Christopher Columbus is alive and kicking in art

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.

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10 sensational marine paintings by Russian artists

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).

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Water reflections: Superb photos by Marine Café readers

Water reflections: Superb photos by Marine Café readers

Water reflection photography is not easy. Changes in the lighting condition, the motion of the water, and the right choice of camera angle — these and other factors make it challenging even for professional photographers.

The following pictures are the most striking and memorable amongst those submitted by photographers who responded to Marine Café Blog’s invitation. Many thanks to everyone who took up the challenge.

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The best ever definition of a genuine seaman

The best ever definition of a genuine seaman

What is a genuine seaman (or seafarer)? More than 1.6 million men and women are said to be employed on the world merchant fleet. How many fit the description? The bureaucrats at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the entire shipping industry keep talking about competency. Surely, there is more to being a true seaman than just knowledge and skills.

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