This fine early 19th-century oil on canvas depicts a fishing boat moored in a European port, probably Italy. The artist, an admirer of Claude Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), has captured an atmosphere of calm tranquillity.
Vernet was an extraordinary talent and a man of extremes. When he painted shipwrecks, the sky became a torrid hell of blood-red fire and brimstone. When he painted fishermen, amid the quiet mood of early morning, a hazy sun shimmered through orange mist. Every calculated element rendered with precision and underpinned by exquisite draughtsmanship.
It’s no wonder that hordes of aspiring early 19th-century painters studied his works intently. Across Europe, tutors at the top Academies would wag their all-knowing index fingers towards his masterly canvases. “Go to the museums, study the masters” became a mantra for the learned painter.
This accomplished piece, with its classical topography, ambient sky, and shimmering waters, hails from Sweden. So it’s possibly by an artist that trained in Stockholm such as Elisabeth Charlotta Karsten (1789-1856). Karsten preferred to work in this style and trained at the Academy. The figures carry a weighty truth - a particular triumph.
Held within a 19th-century Rococo revival frame.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 32” x 23” / 81cm x 59cm
Year of creation: c. 1830
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.