Women in boats: A celebration of beauty

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Maritime Art, Culture and History

Paintings of women in boats wearing vintage dresses fascinate me. Is it the way the women maintain their poise while out on the water? Is it the flow of their garments in sync with the gentle ripples of the river or lake? In any case, it is a beautiful sight. I am reminded of the opening lines of William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Perfect Woman’:

“She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament…”

Here are five paintings on the subject (click on the images for a larger view):

Woman Rowing, Sketch, 1892
Oil on canvas
Maria Wiik (Finnish, 1853–1928)
Courtesy of the Finnish National Gallery

The boat in Giverny, c. 1887
Oil on canvas
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Woman in a Rowing Boat, study for Girls in a Rowing Boat, 1886
Oil on canvas
Albert Edelfelt (Finnish, 1854–1905)
Courtesy of the Finnish National Gallery

Alice Gerson in Prospect Park, 1886
Oil on panel
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

On the River, c. 1910
Oil on canvas
Guy Rose (American, 1867–1925)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

~ Barista Uno

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