The open North Sea and its seemingly near-infinite coastal harbors are the inspirational cradle for the world’s first marine artists. The demand for 16th & 17th century Dutch artists grew rapidly in their homeland and then in great Britain, inspiring other Europeans to take up the brush and begin their own artistic traditions. Here the outer harbor of Rotterdam holds several ships of the 19th century sailing fraternity, portrayed by a leading Belgium marine artist, Paul-Jean Clays.
With deep color tones and stark white sails, a square-rigger dominates the smaller fore-and-aft craft around her, a small row boat tries to slip away from her. Somewhat becalmed, sailors peer from her starboard rail to keep an eye on the ships just clear of her bow, where one mariner is strikingly visual in his red shirt, its color playing among the ships’ reflections.
Clays gives his art a sense of quiet movement with his abundant clouds applied with wispy strokes and grayish variation showing their volume. The strong lines and colors of the wooden ships give a very physical presence to each, while the clouds win at the horizon, partially obscuring others ships in the distance. The economic lifeline of the Netherlands, Rotterdam was once noted as the busiest harbor in all of Western Europe and remains vital today.
first name :