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  • Seascape

    Artist:
    Porcellis, Jan. 1584-1632
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    45,5x65 cm

Porcellis, Jan. 1584-1632

Seascape

Holland, Mid-1620s

Seascapes and winter landscapes represented a new area for Dutch painters in the early 17th century. One artist who was among the early marine painters was Jan Porcellis, whose best work in the Hermitage is this seascape showing ships in bad weather. The artist selected a simple motif: the ships moving out to the open sea, towards a fort. However, in contrasting the vast ships tilting under the force of the water, and the small boat with its fishermen, Porcellis introduces the theme of man and the sea into his landscapes. The men in the boat, raising their oars above the water, have set off at the mercy of the sea. In the rhythm of the ships' movement we see resistance to the heavy, threatening mass of water. In this small work we gain a sense of the endless space of the sea and sky, which the artist's brush unites through the use of a greyish haze in the air. It was in such seascapes that Porcellis laid the basis for tonal painting. The ships with their tricolour Dutch flag sailing upon the open sea symbolized the life of this young country which appeared on the map only in the early 17th century. Porcellis's landscape can also be understood as a metaphor for human courage and resistance to the everyday storms of life. He was perhaps the first romantic sea painter in European art.

Title:

Seascape

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

45,5x65 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1921; transferred from the Grand Palace at Peterhof

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1403

Category:

Collection: