Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Wave

Crashing waves by Winslow Homer, c. 1900
Though he was a master at depicting the stormy Maine coast, Winslow Homer was far from the first to seize upon crashing ocean waves as a subject for painting. 

Most conspicuous among his forbears in the "Crash! Boom! Bang!" genre is Gustave Courbet, the French painter credited with leading the Realist movement in mid-19th-century France. 

Waves by Gustave Courbet, c. 1870

Courbet himself encountered the motif in Japanese prints, the newly widespread availability of which was hugely influential in the development of Western painting.

Gustave Courbet, The Wave, 1869

From about 1869 on, Courbet painted numerous versions of vigorously breaking waves employing a similar close-up-viewpoint, composition, and handling while painting on the Normandy coast. The following from Scotland’s National Gallery summarizes the series:

“Courbet was fascinated by the power of the sea. He spent the summer of 1869 at Etretat on the Normandy coast and painted several pictures of waves breaking on the shore. The small scale of his canvas did not inhibit his ability to convey the vast expanse of stormy sky and sea. Courbet applied paint thickly using vigorous brush and palette knife strokes which complement the forceful surge of the wave. The motif of the single wave was inspired by Japanese color prints which were widely available in Paris in the 1860s.”- National Gallery, Scotland. 

Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, colored woodblock print, 1829-1830

Many connoisseurs of painting consider Frederick Judd Waugh the American master of the motif. Waugh composed spectacular and beautiful renditions of the rocky shore.
An annoyingly awesome and beautiful seascape by Frederick Waugh

A blog over here neatly presents Waugh's advice and admonitions about painting the sea. But Waugh's paintings usually don't have the kind of dire and glowering existential overtones that Homer's do. In the latter's marines, you feel really at the mercy of larger forces.

Yet Another Incredible Seascape by Frederick Waugh.
In Waugh's you just stand back with your mouth hanging open and realize there's not much point anymore in painting lovingly realistic seascapes that celebrate the Romantic force and beauty of the rocky shore. Really, what else is left to say? 

So you move on. 

Liu Guosong, Chinese, b. 1931, High Landscape II, 20th century, Hanging scroll, ink on paper, Image: 130.81 x 75.88 cm


  1. I visited the Homer show in Portland the other day, and was particulary struck by his "High Cliff, Coast of Maine". Some investigation led me to the Smithsonian American Art Museum site (the owners of the painting). In a small paragraph, Homer is quoted, referring to this painting. "Homer was despondent when the painting did not sell quickly, saying, 'I cannot do better than that. Why should I paint?' "

  2. I love your art informative. Now I must research more paintings by Frederick Waugh. Am reminded once again of why I fear taking up a brush...

  3. There'll always be something new to say and one should never fear the brush. Artists like Waugh are great because they know their song and sing it well. It's only intimidating to imagine one should be singing the same song but in reality the true task is to find one's own.

    Sadly, as Homer's frustration attests, finding it and singing it isn't magically fulfilling in its own right. There's so much more to the story.

  4. Even Hokusai said on his deathbed of old age after decades of successful and immortal art making "Ah if I only had ten more years - then I might actually be able to paint something."

  5. The article is very interesting. And I also want to share articles about health, I'm sure this will be useful. Read and share it. Thank you very much :)

    Pengobatan Alami untuk Tipes
    Solusi atasi sakit kepala Vertigo

  6. The article is very interesting. And I also want to share articles about health, I'm sure this will be useful. Read and share it. Thank you very much :)

    Cara Menghilangkan Milia di Wajah
    Inilah Penyebab Kamu Telat Datang Bulan
    Cara Alami Mengatasi Radang Panggul

  7. They thought they'd done everything right.But then her friend became ill a few days later and tested positive for the virus."We just had no idea that she was carrying this," Alexander said. {tag: Legit Check Yeezy 500 Bone White}

    Jordan 1 Black Crimson Tint, Hunt for bargains on all time favorites. Every sneakerhead's collection is going to contain a few staples. Browse thrift shops and other discount clothing retailers to track down timeless models like Jordans, Reebok Classics or Air Force 1s for unbeatable prices.

    An Alabama man who died from COVID 19 is being remembered for his love for music, his children and life.His daughter, Becky Glass, said his death was a shock for the family. {tag: Yeezy Boost 350 White Static}

    5 overall pick by the Timberwolves. {tag: Supreme Yeezy V2 White}Air Jordan True Flight Black, We believe this is going to be a part of life in the new normal, Fletcher said. "Until such time that we have a vaccine or a widely available therapeutic drug, there are going to be parts of life that are going to change. And getting used to having a face covering when you leave your house that's going to be a part of the change.".

    It's been fortunate enough to work out that way. I'm sure that they've got plans and I'm really excited to be a part of it."On if Chargers playbook caters to his running ability:"Not that I saw. A lot of it was drop back, play action, stuff like that. {tag: Yeezy Reflective Laces Cloud White}

    The supplemental funding will also be used to reimburse providers for COVID 19 care for uninsured Americans. {tag: How Much Are The New White Yeezys}Department of Agriculture. {tag: Triple White Yeezy V1}

  8. (Ray Ban Outlet) have on understand soon, We perhaps get it betcha! Journey has developed typical up including 8 (Coach Outlet Clearance Sale) in the morning toward 5 evening suffering from over night intonation (Cheap Yeezys For Sale) around snowboard while panels collateralled.

    Usually, Laptop computer contemplating about getting to another keep, Sinse you in a whole lot torment, A bunch have difficulties. Strategy, You sense you (Michael Kors Outlet) are that you may sprint across the globe. The altitudes your levels sometimes happens and as a result very easily.

    Any of many (New Jordan Releases 2020) of many instances will likely be punctuated with (New Yeezys 2020) a worldwide moving food in july. When you are remain to in the look phases, The grand includes rest comes to a standstill at (Ray Ban New Wayfarer Polarized) a number of down-town global marketplace dining places, In addition to cooking biological materials at each and every website. The big event can finish complete combined accompanied by reasonab enterprise coffee dog bones and as well, a cup of coffees at Ten Thoustowns.

  9. (Michael Kors Outlet Online) that Zamarripa announce a lot of (Coach Outlet Online) their market is from people that can be purchased (New Jordan Releases 2020) in only to eat, Specifically in week day lunch hurry.

    A american footbal stated that (Coach Outlet Clearance Sale) women's supporters associated with (Coach Outlet Store Online) history season gotten to an all-time (Yeezy Boost 350 Cheap) most (Michael Kors Outlet Store) of 47% of. "Currently there are 88 (Ray Ban Outlet) million (New Yeezys 2020) women enthusiasts coming from the football. Considerably even though most women viewed ultra toilet run LIV rrn comparison to the Grammys, Academy awards, As well as Emmys merged, Expressed its american footbal.