15 Classic Works of Marine and Seascape Paintings, with footnotes

Arthur Joseph Meadows
Fishing vessels in rough weather, c. 1874
Oil on canvas
46 x 81cm
Private collection

Arthur J. Meadows (1843-1907) was born within a family of painters. His father James Meadows, Sr. instilled in him a technical appreciation for accurate coastal views of Europe, and young Arthur set out to see and paint as many as he could find.

Traveling extensively throughout England, Holland and France, Meadows also took to the Mediterranean Ocean and the various sights and locales of Italy, Greece and the islands. He excelled in capturing local color and detail all within a soft, subtle palette that offers peaceful realism and emotional content to his artworks.

Meadows was very successful financially with his art in his lifetime and gifted works to many private individuals and other artists that he befriended. His upper society lifestyle enabled him to be quite active in early humanitarian efforts, and he was involved in the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in the mid-Victorian Age. More on Arthur J. Meadows

Arthur Joseph Meadows
Low Tide, Mount Orgueil, Jesey 1881
Oil on canvas
25.5 x 35.7 cm
Private collection

Mont Orgueil (French for 'Mount Pride') is a castle in Jersey that overlooks the harbour of Gorey; a port on the east coast of the Island. It is known as Gorey Castle by English-speakers, and lé Vièr Châté (the Old Castle) by Jèrriais-speakers. The castle was first referred to as 'Mont Orgeuil' in an ordinance survey made in 1462, when the castle was under French occupation in the late Middle Ages . The castle was the seat of royal authority on Jersey throughout the medieval period and served as the main fortress on the Island until the construction of Elizabeth Castle in 1594. More on Mont Orgueil

Arthur Joseph Meadows
The Giuddeca, Venice, Italy,  1898
Oil on canvas
61 x 91.5 cm
Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, Nuneaton

Arthur Joseph Meadows
Unloading the catch on Dunkirk sands, c. 1879
Oil on canvas
46 x 82 cm (18 x 32 in)
Private collection

Dunkirk is located in the north of France, on the shores of the North Sea near the Belgian-French border. The Strait of Dover, where the distance between England and France is just 21 miles across the English Channel, is located to the southwest.

Because of its seaside location near the borders of three European powers, Dunkirk and the surrounding area have been the site of centuries of commerce and travel, as well as numerous bloody battles. More on Dunkirk 

William G. Thornley (1857-1935)
Low Tide at Meadway, c. 1890
Oil on canvas
Signed lower right ‘Thornley’

Georges William Thornley (2 May 1857 – 31 August 1935) was a French painter and printmaker.

A student of the French landscape painter Eugène Cicéri and Edmond Yon, Thornley became a successful artist remembered for his seascapes from Normandy and his landscapes from the French and Italian Rivieras. 

He also was a talented watercolorist, engraver, and lithographer. His lithographs after the works of Corot, Pissarro, Degas and Puvis de Chavannes were acclaimed by his peers and awarded at the Salon de Paris.

His paintings were exhibited beginning in 1878. He won the Mention of Honor in 1881 and a Third Class medal in 1888. Thornley embraced the Impressionist movement early in his career, which brought him much success.

His style characteristically has bold brushwork and thick "impasto." It recreates the "impression of a panorama", capturing the fleeting moment in its inner light and color. This open landscape is an example of what the artist excelled at: successful color effects which are highly decorative but stay true to nature. More on Georges William Thornley

Konstantinos Volanakis (1835-1907) 
Navy in Greece
Oil on canvas 
56 x 82 cm 
Private collection

Konstantinos Volanakis (1837 - 29 June 1907) was a Greek painter who became known as the "father of Greek seascape painting".

Volanakis was born at Heraklion on Crete, to parents who came from a small village near Rethymno. Later, they moved again for business reasons, and he completed his basic education on Syros in 1856. Afterward, urged on by his brothers, he went to Trieste and became a book-keeping clerk for a family of Greek merchants who were related to his family by marriage. While there, he made sketches of ships and harbors in his account books. Rather than dismiss him, the family recognized his artistic talent, and made arrangements for him to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.

His break came in 1869, three years after the Battle of Lissa, when Emperor Franz Joseph held a drawing competition to memorialize the event. Volanakis won the contest, receiving 1000 gold Florins and free travel cruises with the Austrian navy for three years. He took full advantage of this, producing numerous canvases and sketches. In 1883, despite warnings from Gyzis that it would ruin his career, he returned to Greece and settled in Piraeus.

From then until 1903, he was a teacher at the Athens School of Fine Arts. He also operated his own private school. He was, however, very poor in his later years, due to his very large family and declining interest in his art. 

Volanakis died on 29 June 1907 at Piraeus. More on Konstantinos Volanakis

François ROUX (1811-1882) 
The coquette in front of the port of Marseille, 1838
Watercolor on paper
45 x 56 cm
Private collection

The boat "Coquette," Captained by Victor Madaille son leaving for Guadeloupe on February 25, 1838. The boat "Coquette" was built in Marseilles.

The Roux Family of Marseilles was a family of hydrographers and marine painters that specialized in ship portraits. While many generations were involved in the hydrographic business, it was really only three generations who painted and became known for their skill and accuracy in portraying a ship, making their work seem more like a photograph than a painting. The painters in the family were Joseph, Ange-Joseph Antoine, Mathieu-Antoine, Ursule-Josephine, François Joseph Frédéric and François Geoffroi. More on The Roux Family of Marseilles 

François Roux
L'aviso Le Renard, 1846
Musée de la Marine de Paris

Le Renard was built at the Chantiers et Ateliers de l'Océan-Pastoureau on the Bacalan site, following original plans by frigate captain Eugène Belleguic . It is a mixed construction: wood for the planks and iron carcass. Propelled by a 150 horsepower steam engine and a 503  m 2 sail on three masts, it is indeed a maneuverable and fast vessel: it can spin 11 knots under steam and up to 14 knots under sail and steam. . Armed in war, it carries 4 rifled cannons of 12. More on Le Renard

On June 03th 1885, Aviso "Renard" leaving from Obock to Aden went missing with 130 souls. No trace of the vessel, crew or passengers was ever found. She was probably sunk in the violent cyclone that occurred from 03th to 04th in the gulf of Aden. Le Renard was sunk at the same time as the Prussian corvette SMS Augusta, and the British cargo SS Speke Hall. More on the sinking of Le Renard

FRÉMY Antoine (1816-1885) 
The sloop "Le Phare" 1852-1853
Black charcoal pencil on paper
29 x 38 cm
Private collection

The sloop "Le Phare" in the port of Algiers. Graphite, signed lower right, annotated "Le Phare steam sloop of 160 horses, controlled by Mr Demarolles,

Antoine Alexandre Auguste Frémy was born in Toulon in 1816 and died in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 1885, he was a French painter and draftsman specializing in Marine

Antoine Frémy made his debut as a cartoonist at the Toulon arsenal . Subsequently, he participated in expeditions alongside the French Navy ( Crimean War , taking Sevastopol, rural Morocco, etc.). In 1850, he is in Brazil, where he worked on boat portraits. He then returned to Toulon where he drew the ships. More on Antoine Alexandre Auguste Frémy

ZIEM Félix (1821-1911) 
Sailboat docking in Venice
signed lower left and dated [18] 49. 
12.5 x 22 cm.

Félix Ziem (February 26, 1821 – November 10, 1911) was a French painter in the style of the Barbizon School. Born Félix-Francois Georges Philibert Ziem in Beaune in the Côte-d'Or département of the Burgundy région of France. Originally, Ziem planned to be an architect and studied at the School of Architecture in Dijon, and for a time he worked as an architect. In 1839 he moved to Marseilles, where he received some informal instruction in painting from Adolphe Monticelli. Painting developed from a hobby into a career following a visit in 1841 to Italy, where he fell in love with the city of Venice, a place that would become the source for many of his works, and to which he returned annually until 1892. Apart from Venetian scenes, he also painted many still lifes, portraits, and landscapes from a variety of places including Constantinople, Martigues, Cagnes-sur-Mer and his native Burgundy. More on Félix Ziem

Félix Ziem 
Boarding quai des esclavons, during a flood
28.25 X 36 in (71.76 X 91.44 cm)
Oil on panel

Felix Ziem
A sailing vessel off the coast, drying her sails
5.51 X 6.69 in (14 X 17 cm)
Pen and sepia ink
Private collection

Swedish School, 18th Century
Full Moon Over Coastal Landscape, pres, 1919
Oil on panel
71 x 100 cm
Private collection

The present painting is the work of an artist, presumably active in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century. It depicts a romantic night landscape with a castle or a manor-house idyllically situated at a coastal line. The shimmer of the full moon also illuminates the silhouettes of a number of sailings boats distributed over the quiet sea. The scenery is animated by crackling fire in front of the hut at the lower right side, whose dim light reaches the hustle of two persons in a boat.

Joseph Baudin (1691-1753)
Harbor Scene, c. 1750
Oil on canvas
85 x 85 cm
Private collection

This painting by Joseph Baudin depicts an extraordinary composition in square format, untypical for the artist who is primarily known for his Venetian views after Canaletto. It depicts is a harbor view with a lively figural scene in the foreground, whereby the upper half of the image taken up entirely by the bright sky. Glimmering ray of sun incide from the upper left corner and cause dynamic effects of light and shadow. The present work shows Baudin’s talent for the reproduction of architectural proportions reproduce and rendering of figures as well as his sense of the open landscape. With unusually loose brushwork, the British painter created an animated scene here, which boasts a subtle color scheme and harmonious composition. More on this painting

Joseph Baudin (1691-1753) was a student of Godfrey Kneller and worked as a painter in London. He is known for his Venetian views after Canaletto. His gouache drawings, which testify to the preference of the British Society for vedutas of Venice and in particular for Canaletto’s oeuvre, were published as engravings between 1736 and 1739. Paintings by the artist are rarely found on the art market. More on Joseph Baudin

Abraham Hulk Senior (1813-1897)
Seascape, around 1860
Oil on wood 
46 x 53 cm
Private collection

The present painting by the English marine painter Abraham Hulk shows an atmospheric seascape with dark clouds gathering above the agitated sea. A number of fishing and sailing boats inhabit the setting in the foreground, whereas the sea is lined by the silhouettes of two windmills of a coastal town depicted on the far left side.

Abraham Hulk Senior (1 May 1813 in London – 23 March 1897 in Zevenaar) was an Anglo-Dutch painter, draughtsman and lithographer. He initially trained as a portraitist, but became a well-known as a marine-painter and the patriarch of a whole family of Anglo-Dutch artists.

Hulk was born in London, the son of the merchant Hendrik Hulk and Mary Burroughs. He trained as a portrait painter under Jean Augustin Daiwaille (1786–1850) before continuing his artistic education at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam.

During 1833 and 1834 he travelled to America, visiting New York and Boston, and exhibiting in the latter city. In 1834 he returned to Amsterdam, where he lived until 1855, when he relocated to Nijkerk, later moving to Enkhuizen, then to Haarlem, back to Amsterdam, then to Oosterbeek, before returning to Amsterdam once more. In 1870 he settled in England, where he spent the rest of his life. He became well-known because he seemed to have the ability to paint the sea and its ships in such a different way for which he became one of the great marine painters. Some of his portraits have survived. His work was exhibited in the Royal Academy in London from 1876 to 1890 where he entered three paintings of which two were Dutch seascapes. He also exhibited at the Suffolk Street Galleries in London and in Leeuwarden and The Hague in the Netherlands from 1843 to 1868. More on Abraham Hulk Senior

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