A striking dramatic work of the Amalfi Coast off the bluff of the city of Atrani, the scene requires in-depth contemplation to absorb the detailed presence Melbye has bestowed before his viewing audience. Catching much of the promontory’s importance in his visual representation, the area has thrived since its 10TH Century inception as the residence of the nobility for the Republic of Amalfi. Its three prominent churches were used to ceremonially crown the doges, as their courts of official decree, and for their final resting place. Atrani, with its tight architectural details and cloisters, has taken form over the centuries as a place of relaxation and monastic retreat, and is a highlighted vacation spot today.
Mariners aboard a lanteen-rigged coastal Italian Bilancella await two rowed boats, one boarded with women from societies upper ranks and the other with brown-clothed church men as passengers. Interesting to note that most of the ships have their stems extended at the bow, to use tow assists to clear their shore berths. The Gulf of Salerno is quite active, both with ships and the sea itself, and the prevailing weather has all the sailing craft respecting the force and direction of the wind.
The artist achieved a level of sophistication within this painting that well represents his overall output. His ability to translate the relative distance in such large scale helps make it a significant work with excellent artistic and historic elements.
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