This fine coastal scene by Gustave de Breanski is typical of the artist’s excellent eye for marine atmosphere. Of particular note is the treatment of the sky with its realistic shadings of light and shadow in the cloud layers interspersed with patches of blue. The placement of the horizon just below mid-line also gives a nice symmetry between the sky and foreground sea.
With Dover Castle and the famous white cliffs highlighted in the background, a red-stacked steam tug labors in choppy seas with a merchant brig in tow. The breakwater is most likely the entrance to Dover Harbor with its red, “take to starboard” channel marker perched at the outer end. Seabirds dot the foreground as spectators strolling on the breakwater watch the incoming vessels.
De Breanski knew his seas. His proficiency at marine portrayal was obviously the result of keen observation over many years painting along the coast of Great Britain. This work, in its original gilt frame, is rich with elements of authenticity blended with the artist’s special touch for capturing the sea’s mood and character.
Provenance: Royal Victorian Yacht Club. Private Collection, U.K.
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