The classic appeal of marine art is far from lost when it comes to decorating one’s contemporary interior. With the earliest forms of art depicting different types of water-faring vessels – think of the Egyptian hieroglyphs showing fully staffed barges on the Nile or ancient Greek vases painted with fishing boats and their bounty – marine art, as we think of it today, did not truly begin until the end of the Middle Ages. A ‘ship’s portrait,’ the precursor to Maritime art, was the most popular type of artwork produced during this period leading up to the Golden Age of Dutch painting. The popularity of pastoral landscapes then began to inspire a trend towards seascapes and thus a new concentration emerged for the most distinguished and talented of painters. Emphasizing the power of trade, newly explored routes and intercontinental relationships, marine painting during the rise of the Dutch Republic gave birth to new techniques and a distinct style still appreciated and coveted by present day collectors.
Artists of the Romantic period took this idea even further, letting the sea itself serve as the only muse. The beauty and majesty of water and coastal life began to seep into the imagination of art aficionados across Europe and later, America. It’s no surprise then that American art has always held a special place in its oeuvre for maritime and marine art. Mighty six and eight-masted ships populate the early manuscripts, sketchbooks and easels of artists and sailors, while the daydreams of those who toiled on land could be considered scented with saltwater. Thus the sea and its inspired views have long been apt representations of the ‘good’ or ‘simple’ life. With so many ways to depict marine life and boats of every size, generations of artists have given decorators a wealth of nautical charm with which to adorn their homes.
Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery is pleased to be offering a number of works of art depicting beautiful coastal towns and colorful marine vessels from a noted private collection during their upcoming auction, which will take place on August 27-28, 2016. Modern works, like those illustrating docked fishing boats in the tropical-hued Florida town of Tarpon Springs, to oil on canvases showing rowers at twilight along the Italian coast, range from the touristic to the picturesque, appropriate souvenirs for the armchair or experienced traveler. Two-masted boats seem to bob along the glimmering water in a mid-century American work, while a fishing vessel skims along the grey water alone with nothing but a slim strip of land on the horizon for company. And who could resist the lush cliff sides of Italy dotted with foliage-draped antique columns, the sun-dappled Mediterranean beyond? Dive into the spirit of the sea this summer and choose a water-bound daydream to inspire your decorating on and off the shore. We can only imagine how relaxing those new views will prove to be!