What comes to your mind first when you think about the majestic beauty of the nature on our planet? Undoubtedly, no one can keep calm, breath smoothly and gaze indifferently at the tremendous area covered with water either forming huge waves sweeping all on their way and devouring ships looking tiny on the background of the deep captivating blueness, or a mirror-like pacific surface sparkling in the shining sun. The ocean seduces us with the intrigue of something far and unknown and that is why enigmatic. Its might is impossible to seize and conquer no matter how powerful a human may seem to themselves. All these feelings have always been experienced by people, and artists, in particular, as they cannot resist a strong desire to render this unutterable force on canvas by means of their talent to depict.
Looking at a seascape on a wall in the accommodation is a perfect and sometimes the only way for us being charmed by the pure beauty of the oceans and seas to enjoy the views we admire so much. In this article, a top 7 most famous and absorbing seascapes are presented, which also serve as an incentive for Trend Gallery artists to create artworks showing the sea. Our artists also shared their perception of the famous paintings and explained what exactly made them take a fancy for marine art.
At the end of the article, you will see an unexpected bonus to our collection which will not leave you indifferent.
Caspar David Friedrich “The Monk by the Sea”
Caspar David Friedrich (September 5, 1774 - May 7, 1840) was a landscape and seascape painter and belonged to the German Romantic movement existing in the 19th century. At present, he is considered to be the most outstanding artist of that movement. Friedrich is known in the world of art for his allegorical landscapes that show ruminative figures silhouetted in the night sky, grey morning mist, the sea. His works are an inimitable conveyance of the contemplation and spiritual experience of nature and life on the whole.
His works got into the mainstream of art again at the beginning of the 20th century when his paintings were exhibited in one of the famous art galleries in Berlin. In the 1920s, his landscapes were highly appraised and admired by the Expressionists, and later frequently resorted to by the Surrealists and Existentialists in their artworks. Caspar David Friedrich is fairly considered to be an iconic representative of the German Romantic movement, and an artist of the international level.
- When our leading artists Zorsah and Lisa Ross were asked about their landscape paintings and namely what led them to creating sea and ocean paintings which have become incredibly popular among the art lovers, they expressed an unanimous opinion that the famous landscape by Friedrich impressed them by the depth of the nature colors in his painting which were a reflection of the monk’s thoughts speculating on the good and the evil on earth. At the same time, the light colors of the clouds above the almost black sea surface give us hope for the triumph of the good in the end.
WATERSCAPE by Zorsah
Joseph Mallord William Turner “The Fighting Temeraire”
Joseph Mallord William Turner is the most favorite and incredibly talented artist of the English Romanticism. The most distinctive feature of his artworks is light. He is even called 'the painter of light' in the world of art, since he had a deep interest in radiant bright colors depicting the sun blazing over the horizon line. The greater part of his artistic heritage is seascapes and landscapes in the form of oils and water colors, mainly. He created a number of engravings, as well, but they do not seem to be as well-known as his seascapes with the glare of the sun. Turner was also very impressed and fascinated by the contemporary engineering advance of that time, which found reflection in such works as his famous painting created in his typical manner “The Fighting Temeraire”.
- Below you can see how Turner’s manner and main plot of works influenced the creativity of the artists in Trend Gallery. The first one is by Zorsah already mentioned above and the other one is by Vitaliy Ladovskiiy, a gifted young artist. They both transformed their impressions evoked by the combination of the enchanting blueness of the ocean and the bright golden light of the sun into marvelous abstract paintings on canvas, which take us to the distant seascape of our dream.
UNREAL REALITY by Zorsah
Joseph Mallord William Turner “Snow Storm”
It should be emphasized that Turner’s palette of colors for landscapes does not include only the shades of the shining sun and blue water. Some of his other works look like abstract paintings, and perhaps this is why the artists who create in an abstract manner in Trend Gallery did not pass by them but used their images as an inspiration to paint their absorbing beige and brown abstract landscapes, some of which are presented below.
- Vito Ross showed his version of the ocean storm using Turner’s colors but a slightly different mood. His storm is not so rageful but overwhelming and confident about its power and strength.
- Lisa Ross and Vitaliy Ladovskiiy said that seeing Turner’s storm urged them to try to show what the ocean would look like after it. Vitaliy accentuated the sky becoming lighter because of the white clouds and the ocean becoming peaceful but more sorrowful after the surge of emotions; and Lisa improvised even more and added a thin blue line on the horizon, which made the abstract painting more sophisticated and even gentle.
OVERWHELMING SUNSET by Lisa Ross
LONELINESS by Vitaliy Ladovskiiy
Vincent van Gogh “Sea in Saint-Mary”
The great van Gogh… No matter what we may think of his personality that was one of the most controversial among artists, without any exaggeration, Vincent van Gogh remains the symbol of the artistic genius and masters the creative minds of several generations of artists. His enormous heritage of masterpieces includes seascapes, too, and they radiate much more optimism and happiness than other works of his. However, even the joy in this bright blue and gold painting is rendered impetuously, though gracefully, of course. The wide brushstrokes laid thick layers of paint making this seascape vivid and intensely appealing to viewers’ imagination.
By the way, the turning point in the biography of van Gogh happened in the winter of 1879 and 1880, when he went through the first significant spiritual crisis and came to the conclusion that his predestination was to create art. He also became resolute that his mission was to console people by means of art. He once said: “I want to send the miserable a brotherly message. When I sign my paintings ‘Vincent,’ it seems I am one of them.” Art brought consolation to van Gogh himself and helped to regain confidence and increase his self-esteem.
- Trend Gallery artist Kladov always says that this very mixture of the colors typical of the sea plus the posh of the gold foam of the waves gave him an idea for his gold and blue abstract paintings. This is especially seen in the intriguing artwork NEAR THE BEACH and the tender BOUNDLESS.
Joaquin Sorolla “Seascape”
The same as Joseph Turner in Great Britain, Joaquin Sorolla is called the Master of Light among Spanish Impressionist artists. Though being considered a genius and the most celebrated artist in his home country, Spain, he unfairly lacks art lovers’ attention of the entire world. His early years were marked by a tragedy when both of his parents died and he had to be adopted by the aunt and her husband, but Joaquin revealed his great talent as an artist just nearly a decade later and at the age of 20 he created a large history painting, which was his first one of a kind but nevertheless was highly valued and acquired by the government of Spain. Only two loves had he during his life: those were the love for his wife and for the Mediterranean Sea in his hometown Valencia.
- Vito Ross says he was attracted by the genius simplicity of the image of the painting, which also has an unpretentious title denoting the style of the artwork at the same time. “Seascape” by Joaquin Sorolla predetermined the choice of the color palette for Vito’s “Boundless Horizon” and inspired him to produce an artwork unique by its style since it can be considered both a traditional realistic seascape and an abstract painting and everyone, who looks at it, seems to smell the salty sea water and vividly feel the sea breeze on the skin.
Childe Hassam “Duck Island from Appledore”
At the end of the 19th century, Impressionism as an art trend became the mainstream not only in Europe and, in particular, in France, but also in the USA, where the most devoted and successful representative of this art movement was Childe Hassam. By the way, he studied in France and evidently became penetrated by the spirit of the French art. He mainly painted landscapes of New York which was his beloved city, where he even bought a colonial style house, but also stunningly bright seascapes became an important part of his artistic heritage. Looking at his colourful painting “Duck Island from Appledore” it is impossible to keep dull and in a bad mood, the uplifting image is associated with the summer, perfect sunny weather, free time and happiness.
- Trend Gallery artist Helen Lamb being an optimistic person radiating positive emotions to fill the whole surrounding of hers got caught by the debonair atmosphere of the seascape by Hassam, by the contrast of the warm and cold hues and pure white foam of the gentle waves near the very shore. Her delight resulted in a buoyant mood of her abstract paintings which are actually not exactly seascapes but which combine a bright picturesque view and feeling of joy thus make us feel love for life.
Claude Monet “Impression, Sunrise”
When considering Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Expressionism as unquenchable sources of inspiration for our artists, it is a must to mention the painting that gave rise to the whole tremendous layer of the world art in the course of the human civilization. This outstanding painting, “Impression, Sunrise”, was created on the basis of a morning view in Le Havre port, and we can see this recognizable contrast of orange and blue typical of many Impressionist seascapes. At the same time, it was not made in the impasto style chosen by the impressionists - its atmospheric character and absence of detailed analysis rather resemble the works by the British artist Joseph Turner.
In Paris, in 1874, a one-month exhibition was held where 30 artists expelled from the Paris Salon, presented their artworks. Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and others decide to arrange this exhibition by themselves to prove that art had a right to exist beyond certain strict frames imposed by conservative academicians. Monet's Impression, Sunrise attracted attention of the majority of the visitors who expressed their general opinion that the image in the painting was because being of being too abstract.
M. Louis Leroy, a popular French art critic of that time, wrote his now famous review, in which he first introduced the term "impressionist" referring to the 30 artists. The term was evidently based on the title of Claude Monet’s painting “Impression, Sunrise”. In spite of Leroy using this word in a negative meaning, the artists adopted it and started to be called Impressionists.
* Kladov and Helen Lamb made an attempt to embody their impressions of the beauty of the nature around them on canvas, too, but in an abstract style being adored by them so much. In their paintings, we can see that recognizable contrast of bright warm and cold colors, the grandiose power of emotions and the eternal triumph of art in any form of its expression.
VERTIGO by Kladov
AUTUMN POND by Helen Lamb
Albert Bierstadt “The Wave”
Albert Bierstadt is a famous American artist who was born in Germany but immigrated to the USA at the age of two together with his family. He mainly painted the wild nature of awesome American land. However, he also paid attention to the sea and rendered the whole inimitable beauty and might of this elemental force. His artistic technique is not similar to the impressionist style due to a more detailed depiction of the landscape or seascape, making the image more realistic; but reality turns into enigmatic abstraction in the art workshops of Trend Gallery.
- Vitaliy Ladovskiiy, who often does experiments in his artistic career, was unexpectedly inspired by “The Wave” of Bierstadt to produce an ideal abstract painting on the basis of the main colors used for that work of art. It should be emphasized that creation of an abstract painting requires more imagination and work of the artistic mind than the one needed for realistic painting. Abstractions enchant us with their intriguing character and leave a wealth of space for our own reflections on them.
- Helen Lamb experimented on her painting, too. She added a bit of pink warmth, the indigo color onto the canvas and the word “indigo” to the title of the painting, with the basic colors of the original painting preserved.
Due to the different style of the paintings the techniques of their performance are different, too. They are slightly less textured and the brushstrokes are less distinct.
INDIGO WAVE by Helen Lamb
Hokusai “The Great Wave off Kanagava”
The presentation on the genre of seascapes would be incomplete without telling about one of the most remarkable works of the Japanese art. “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”, often called just “The Great Wave”, is a marvelous example of Japanese seascapes.
This woodprint picture appeals to us by its energy and power of the natural disaster; it looks awesome and makes us think of how weak humans are when facing this irresistible force. It also shows the sacred symbol of eternity and might for every Japanese person – the Mount Fuji – in the distance. The wave is so huge that it seems to devour not only tiny figures of the men in the boats but the whole land.
The most distinguishing feature of the painting is the dark blue pigment used by Hokusai Katsushika in this work. It was a brand new material in the 18th century in Japan and was imported on the trade route from England through China.
- Potapova, who is a talented and successful artist of Trend Gallery, too, managed to convey the great power of the ocean waves during the storm, and being inspired by Hokusai’s artwork created an abstract seascape, which, at the same time, has that clearly and distinctly painted claw-like white foam and its drops. She used the same white and blue colors and hues since they are the most suitable for the mood of the restless ocean.
Jean Desire Gustave Courbet “Eternity”.
The theme of eternity is continued by the landscape painted by the French representative of the Realist movement in art, Jean Desire Gustave Courbet, whose period of work was in the middle of the 19th century. Though he depicted scenes of real life, his unique independent style differed from the traditional art techniques of that time and became a source of inspiration for the impressionists and even the cubists of the 20th century. Most of his paintings were landscapes, nudes, scenes of hunting and political issues. Why is this painting titled Eternity? We do not know for sure, but can only guess the author’s idea. The eternity could be symbolized by the divine blue color of the sky covering the larger part of the canvas and opposing the sandy and brown hues of the coast, which may symbolize our fragile and transient life on the earth.
The diversiform of Kladov’s talent allowed him to experiment successfully with realistic landscapes adding an element of abstraction the view of the nature. The artist shifted the main blue accent from the sky to the sea, making it the centre of viewers’ attention and the line that divides the “transient” earth and the “eternal” sky.
The promised surprising point of the presented collection of Trend Gallery paintings is the artwork having the word “ocean” in its title but being an abstraction in the colors that have nothing to do with seascape ones. It was added to this review because it served as an incentive for our prominent artist Zorsah to create his GEOMETRIC MYSTERY which has been one of Trend Gallery’s top paintings for years and enjoyed a great popularity among customers.
This is a masterpiece of a contemporary American artist Richard Diebenkorn, whose first works were made in the style of abstract expressionism and figurative painting.
Diebenkorn expressed his attitude to art, which is shared by the majority of modern artists: “All paintings start out of a mood, out of a relationship with things or people, out of a complete visual impression.”