Stranded Ship on East Hampton Beach Essay

1952 Words 8 Pages
Stranded Ship on East Hampton Beach
Thomas Moran is known for his oil paintings of the natural world. He captures nature at the moment in which he sees it; this may, in turn, be serene but also show the dramatic and violent natures of his momentary surroundings. In the compositions chosen he illustrates, as the title infers, a vessel caught in the turbulent, tumultuous sea. As he captured this image, he kept in mind the destructive nature of water also the constructive nature of water. Water has the ability to enable cultures to thrive and to barely survive. Water was the main source transportation of goods, ideas and communication in prehistoric times. In his composition, Moran displays the solid and life-depending aspect of water as
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Nevertheless, the flag stands erect and flapping in the wind. On the right side of the piece, we view the exact magnitude of the storm through the “white wash” of the violent waves. Additionally, the sky to the right of the ship’s crow’s nest is lighter and hints of a sun trying to break through the lurking darkness. Despite the presence of other visual elements, what clearly connects is that the ocean, embellished and predominantly highlighted in the work, was Moran’s principal interest. However, the fact that something so fleeting as surging waves dominates the composition even to the visual expense and weight of an obviously colossal ship.
The visual expressive elements in Moran’s composition are not equal in weight. Occupying nearly seventy-five percent of the page, and defining with its form the corresponding negative space of the lighter sky, the waves of abundant frigid, murky water and cold, stylized white and aquamarine green frothy accents at its edges, surges high into the sky in the distant background to fill almost all of the horizontal extent of the paper. Through atmospheric distance techniques, Moran is able to effectively illustrate the caliber of the waves on the ship’s hull by setting the central mast at an eighty-seven degree angle in relation to the horizon line. In addition, he does not make the central mast clearly visible, but rather distorts the image of the central pole

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