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Seascape paintings

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Seascape paintings

For most people, the sea has a fascinating attraction, as is also the case with mountains. Many of us head almost automatically to the seaside when they can take time off from work for a week or two of holiday relaxation

For most people, the sea has a fascinating attraction, as is also the case with mountains. Many of us head almost automatically to the seaside when they can take time off from work for a week or two of holiday relaxation.

Sitting with the wide expanse of the sea in front of us, we feel strangely relaxed and at home, perhaps relating back to the time when early life forms of our ancestors made their home there before crawling up on land, like the bit of beach that we are lazing on now.

We are most happy to share the many moods of the sea from the balcony of our beachside bungalow as we bask in the sun, read a book and stare for hours, lost in thoughts, onto the shiny, placid surface of a sea at rest.

We retreat inside the bungalow when a storm moves in from the sea but still watch with fascination the complete change in the usual vista, as dark gray waves rear up and pound themselves angrily on the beach, as the wind howls.

Like the holiday-makers, painters too were fascinated by the sea. Many painters throughout the history of art spent long hours, studying and capturing on their canvases, the play of light on the sea surface, finding and mixing paint to record the blue and green hues of the ever-changing sea colors.

Many painters set their dramatic subject matter, such as shipwrecks and fierce battle between ships, on the sea.


As well as the drama of the consequence of a shipwreck, this painting by French painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) shows the close inter-dependent relationships between humans and the sea. We depend on the sea for food and for our climate, and the sea depends on us to keep it alive and free from our pollution.

Born in Rouen in Normandy, Géricault found fame in this vision of the aftermath of the contemporary sinking of a French ship Meduse, when the captain left the crew and passengers to die.

In this national scandal, ths dramatic interpretation of Géricault showed a contemporary tragedy on a large scale. The painting criticized a corrupt establishment as well as documented man's struggle with nature. French painter Eugène Delacroix posed as one of the people dying on the raft.

Typing in the word "sea" into the search box at wahooart com, ( brings up page after page of thumbnail images of the sea, as numerous artists have portrayed it.

The maritime art genre was particularly active from the 17th to 19th centuries and drew its main inspiration from the sea.

Art from the earliest times have included boats and ships and, during the Middle Ages, paintings of individual ships was popular, as this type of painting work is still popular now. Artists during the Renaissance began to paint more landscape, including seascape, often as backdrops to human figures acting out our own stories.

The Dutch Golden Age paintings, of which there are many examples at, reflected the importance of naval power and overseas trade to Holland, and career marine artists, such as Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom (1562-1640), spent their lives painting the sea with triumphant sailing ships on it, ready to sail forth to explore and trade with the world, and yes, also to colonize some of it.

A life-long obsession of pre-eminent English landscape painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) was to paint the sea.



In this typically atmospheric painting, Heaped thundercloud over the sea and land, the view is transported into the scene, to feel the freezing sea spray blowing directly into one's face. Colors are masterfully reduced to a bare minimum, as they are in a real storm. All that is left is almost an abstract painting, charged with the feel of the location.

Joseph Mallord William Turner was a Royal Artist, Romantic landscape painter, watercolorist, and printmaker based in Oxford, England. His work was controversial as it succeeded in melting the landscape and seascape into a mélange of impressionistic light, to capture the grandeur of the natural landscape. By working in this way, he elevated landscape painting to a new breathtaking level to preface the work of French Impressionists.


In this oil painting Seascape by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), one feels strongly the power of the sea, as well as share the painter's love of this scene. The pleasing mosaic of colors that together form an again atmospheric image is typical of the painting approach of the Impressionists, who excelled in fixing in paint the light and colors of our world that we perceive every day, and often take for granted.

A founder of the Impressionism art movement was born in Limoges in France, the center of the French porcelain industry, so Renoir started work as an artist painting designs on porcelain China.

Renoir is well-known now for his celebration of the beauty and sensuality of the female form, both clothed and naked. In this work, he happily continued the long tradition of painting the nude going back to Rubens and Watteau.

Apart from voluptuous women, Renoir obviously loved the sea, spending the summer in Guernsey, an island in the English Channel in 1883 for example. There 15 paintings came flowing out of him in about a month, of windmills, bays, beaches and cliffs.

The sea can also be in your home or office that is physically very far from the sea.

The classical seascape images shown here are available to be ordered as a canvas print or as hand-painted oil painting replica online at And there are literally hundreds of vibrant images of the sea, beaches and ships for you to choose from.

You can specify the size of the canvas, choose a suitable frame for the picture online at our customization page, and your canvas prints will be expertly printed for your enjoyment of the sun and sea spray, for a long time to come.

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