Standing near the wheelhouse, the captain holds a sextant while casting an aware gaze beyond at the course his vessel follows in this intriguing work by artist Henry Reuterdahl.
The deep colors of sky and sea yield to the still darker jacketed navigator. A ship’s telegraph is visible off to his left. Full of static emotion, there is something of Jack London’s infamous “Sea Wolf” captain in this ocean traveling man. The lighter blue ocean splits the twists and turns of Reuterdahl’s storm-brewed sky from the ship’s visible wood and stoic voyager.
Reuterdahl, best known for straight forward portrayals of the American Navy’s turn-of-the century changing might, saw a lifetime of storms at sea as a civilian commentator of the naval conflicts of his days, including World War I. Successful as both an artist and author, he has captured the tough essence created from a career at sea within this man’s portrait, complimenting it with a softer, personalize inscription.
Inscribed: “To My Friend, Dr. Erdmann, Thankfully”
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