Seascape paintings reflect our fascination with the power and mystery of the oceans. It is a varied art genre depicting waves lapping on the shore to depictions of goddesses, sea monsters, and stormy seas.
Here’s a brief introduction to the most beautiful paintings of the oceans and seas.
What is the Meaning of Seascape Painting?
Seascape wall art and maritime paintings are depictions of the sea. The word “seascape” first appeared in 1790. However, seascape art predates this official classification. Early ocean paintings include Rembrandt van Rijn’s stolen painting, Storm on the Sea of Galilee 1663. Rembrandt's famous painting displays the crossover between Religious art and seascape oil painting. Indeed, both oil paintings arose during the 17th century due to the explosion of European exploration and sea travel.
Famous Seascape Paintings
Debate rages among art historians about the best seascape artist. Despite this, two famous artists stand out as the finest painters of seascape art. These artists are the Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky and the British artist J. M. W. Turner. Ivan Aivazovsky’s The Ninth Wave 1850 is his most famous seascape painting. This oil on canvas painting bears many similarities with Rembrandt’s earlier Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Turner’s depiction of The Fighting Temeraire shows a British warship, the HMS Temeraire, being towed along the Thames.
The most famous Impressionist painting by Claude Monet was painted in 1872. While Monet's famous painting does not depict the crashing waves of so many other seascape artworks, it features on our list of Famous oil paintings.
Hokusai's Great Wave is an iconic Japanese seascape artwork created in 1831. Today, it’s one of the most famous depictions of the ocean. Intriguingly, the artwork isn’t an oil painting at all. Instead, it’s a woodblock print part of the Japanese ukiyo-e tradition. Hokusai’s print shows three boats traveling along a troubled sea.
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