maritime art

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.

Exploring the Art of Painting: Why Are Ships so Popular Among Painters?

If you walk into a pub or a restaurant by the port, chances are you’ll find a painting with a large ship or a boat showing right in the middle. However, if you walk into a painting class or walk in on one of your family members practicing their painting skills, then you might actually find the very same scene. So, why is it that maritime art and ships are such a popular topic among painters? 

maritime art

From an artistic standpoint, the sea and the ships that navigate it actually carry a lot of weight. The uneven motion of the sea and the smooth edges of a ship’s contour makes it possible to almost capture the movement of the waves and the ship that passes through them in even a beginner’s painting or drawing. Simply put, ships look very artistic almost regardless of who is drawing them. 

Another reason why maritime art is so popular has to do with symbols. From a symbolic perspective, ships carry even more weight. They can be regarded as symbols of life and of the artist’s journey through the troubled ocean of life. They can also be seen as a person’s willingness or determination to take charge of their life and navigate that ocean despite the fact that they are constantly faced with agitated waves and the peril of being lost at sea.

Why Maritime Prints Make Great Gifts

Maritime prints, whether they depict calming, crystal waters, stormy seascapes, mighty ships or wrecks, make excellent gifts for anyone, not only for boating and diving enthusiasts, for history buffs passionate about pirate ships and battle cruisers or for avid fishermen. Here are some tips for you about getting the most suitable piece:

-        Digital versions or prints on heavy paper for a few dollars – there are many great maritime art websites that offer digital copies of amazing marine artwork created by the world’s most famous artists. You can download the print in digital format or you can order your prints on special paper to be hung on a wall;

-        A calming effect on stressed nerves – seascapes have a calming effect on the nerves. It is surely better to take in the scenery from a shore covered in white powder sand, but having a large marine poster on your wall can also create the illusion of actually being there;

-        Staying focused on goals – if the person you want to offer the gift to is dreaming of owning a private yacht or of buying a small bungalow by the sea, a marine print is an excellent reminder of the goal and a beautiful piece for the wall, too.