Sailing from a quiet to violent seascape

"The Tugboat" by Gustave Le Gray, 1856/57 from artic 1971.577.7
The Tugboat” by Gustave Le Gray, 1856/57 from @artinstitutechi #ArtTab

So quiet. The exhaust from one tiny ship pulling a grand sailboat in 1856. The exhaust floats into the sky like the larger clouds.

The Art Institute of Chicago has 47 photographs by Gustave Le Gray. This tugboat image is my favorite. There are a couple others that capture the sublime power of nature over humanity.

"The Steamboat" by Gustave Le Gray, 1856 from artic 1971.577.5
The Steamboat” by Gustave Le Gray, 1856
"Brig on the Water" by Gustave Le Gray, 1856 from artic 1971.577.12
Brig on the Water” by Gustave Le Gray, 1856

After viewing these serene scenes, I open a new Chrome tab, and this image appears.

"Kabayama, the Chief of Naval Staff, Attacking Enemy Ships from onboard Saikyomaru (Kabayama gunreibucho Saikyomaru o motte tekikan ni ataru)" by Adachi Ginko, 1894 from artic 1995.206.29
Kabayama, the Chief of Naval Staff, Attacking Enemy Ships from onboard Saikyomaru” by Adachi Ginko, 1894

The action in this scene could almost be imagined as a close-up of what’s actually happening on Gustave Le Gray’s sailboat. Quite the contrast going from a quiet distant seascape to a tightly-cropped action packed seascape. Both created in the 19th century on different continents.

Here’s both images side-by-side. The smokey clouds and off-white shades really tie both of these together.

Gustave Le Gray to Adachi Ginko

Oh snap. 30 minutes later later, this appears in my browser:

"Equivalent" by Alfred Stieglitz, 1930 from artic 1949.796
Equivalent” by Alfred Stieglitz, 1930

The Art Institute is totally trolling me with images of dramatic clouds today.

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Spudart blog posts via the email newsletter

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x