An interesting mix of international ships, since all routes to the Western shores of the Baltic republics required sailing from the North Sea through Danish waters, primarily along the Kattegat Strait, usually between Helsingor with its Kronberg Castle headland, and Helsingborg, Sweden. Out on the coastal open sea, an officer of the Danish government aboard a sharp lined small schooner prepares to meet inbound Russian sailing merchant ships.
In a land where a summer day can last 20 hours and tomatoes are rare enough to be considered a dessert, the customs officials would be quite busy with the amount of goods traveling under sail, and the round the clock operation of the ports. J.E.C. Petersen, a born Dane who studied art locally before his emigration to the U.S.A, probably much enjoyed the warm active summers. In the winter seasons, the water and weather would severely limit such activities. Light, bright cloudy skies make the visibility such that several other ships are noticed on the horizon, with a steam/sail smoking along.
Petersen’s excellence in completing his compositions makes one feel they are on hand to view the subjects. He neither exaggerates nor misses the small and necessary details, such as the stiffly vertical buttons of the officer’s uniform, and the ruffing of the Russian merchant flag, folded but prominent.
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