Fine and Visual Arts; Paintings; Oil Paintings
Bryn Mawr College, Wyndham Alumnae House, 1st Floor
As the sun goes down, several boats make their way to shore with the day’s catch. In the center of the painting, one boat is being tied down and unloaded. The choppy water splashes up against its hull and the men who carry its contents to shore. To the right, two other boats approach the beach, while to the left another is still farther afield. Above the scene a crescent moon rises in the pink and yellow sky filled with clouds and seagulls.
The signature of the German landscape painter Andreas Achenbach is visible in the lower left hand corner. Achenbach painted many marine scenes, including several renditions of fishermen returning to shore with their catch. He studied at the Academy in Düsseldorf and was part of the German Romantic Movement until 1835, when he moved to Munich and began to adopt some of the tenets of the school of Realism. Fishing Boats at Sunset reflects aspects of both these approaches. The power of the sea and the soft expansive sky coincide with the emphasis in German Romanticism on evoking emotion, while the everyday subject matter of fishermen bringing in their catch aligns well with the desire of Realist artists to depict the world around them.
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- Refers to the cultures, periods, and styles of the modern nation of Germany, or the cultures that have occupied the area of the modern nation in central Europe. More broadly, it can refer to the cultures of the ancient groups of related peoples who inhabited central and northern Europe, and who spoke dialects from which the Germanic or Teutonic languages developed.
- A paint made by grinding pigments with a drying oil such as linseed oil. After 1940 alkyd binders were often added to oil paint to provide faster drying times.