Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–1789): Calm at a Mediterranean

7/7/2021, 10:23:14 AM
Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–1789): Calm at a Mediterranean Port, 1770, oil on canvas, 113 × 145.7 cm (44.5 × 57.4 in), Getty Centre, Los Angeles . . In brilliant detail, Claude-Joseph Vernet captured in 'Calm at a Mediterranean Port' the gorgeous weather and leisurely activities of a day by the sea. Fishermen clean the day's catch on a stone pier while several people chat nearby, one of them pointing toward the large ship in the bay. Meanwhile, a man sits and smokes his pipe, the tobacco glowing a bright red. A cumulus cloud, perhaps the remnant of a distant storm, towers to the left of the setting sun. Warm tones of yellow, orange and red predominate, suggesting a hazy sunset after a bright day. In this painting, Vernet portrayed a completely peaceful scene in striking contrast to its pendant, 'A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast' (our previous post). Taken together, the two works show, on the one hand, nature's benevolence, and on the other, nature's fury. (getty.edu)

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