Ramon Martí i Alsina, Seascape

Ramon Martí i Alsina, Seascape

An energetic depiction of a powerful storm at sea by influential Spanish realist, Ramon Martí i Alsina (1826–1894).

Several figures are desperately clinging onto a small boat that’s partially submerged amid wild waters. An older man yells to a fellow sailor as he grapples with the remnants of the mast. While a second figure reaches up and frantically tries to clamber aboard the doomed vessel.

Martí i Alsina was at his best when painting the powerful effects of nature in a quick and fluid style. In this particular work, he cleverly drags our eye from the wrecked boat on the left, diagonally upwards towards the destructive wave. By doing so, he puts us right in the picture as if we can feel ourselves being buffeted by the wind.

It’s likely that he created this piece towards the end of his career when he’d adopted a looser, almost impressionistic, style. During the 1870s, he faced multiple tragedies, including the loss of his two children and the continual pressure of financial ruin.

We’ve written a blog article that explains a little more about this important Catalan luminary.


The painting is housed within a highly decorative fish-scale gilded frame, which is likely to be the original.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
35½” x 23” / 90cm x 58.5cm
Year of creation
c. 1885
Barcelona, Spain
Minor losses around the periphery but otherwise fine. Canvas relined. Frame with age-related wear.
Artist’s auction highlight
£18,130 achieved in 2009 for ‘Paisaje’ (170cm x 109cm).

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