Common Themes of Maritime Art

maritime art

 Maritime art is a category that includes various creations where the sea is the main character. Maritime art has a special atmosphere in which the sky and the water are the most important elements.

Exquisite maritime art has appeared since the Middle Ages. It was very popular especially in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The subjects of this genre are landscapes that include ships in estuaries, beach scenes, storms, boats in their fight with huge waves, or boats on quiet waters, predisposing to calm, meditation and relaxation.

In the Romantic Period there was a reorientation in the style of maritime painting. Representative for this period is Le Radeau de La Méduse, created by Théodore Géricault between 1817-1819. The very large painting (491 cm x 716 cm) represents the moments after the shipwreck of the French frigate La Méduse, on July 5, 1816. Of the 147 people saved on rafts, only 15 survived during the 13 days on the sea, until they were found.

One of the great 19th-century marine art creators was the Russian Ivan Aivazovski, who really loved the sea, and this is obvious in each of his approximately 6,000 paintings. His favorite themes are sea storms, but also historic events, such as the Battle of Navarino in 1827, which he transposed into a painting in 1846.