Marine Art: Introduction

ship painting

Marine art shows maritime activities, oceans, the shore, ports, and vessels. It includes paintings and other kinds of artwork: needlework, decorative painting on furniture or other items, and carvings.

Most marine paintings show vessels underway or working. To appreciate a marine painting, think about its elements. Ask yourself, “What ship is it and where is it? What is it doing? What is its means of propulsion, its riggingRig

The general term describing the characteristics of masts and sails that determine the type of sailing vessel.
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, its number of mastsMast

A straight piece of timber or a hollow cylinder of wood or metal set up vertically or nearly so and supporting yards, booms, derricks, or gaffs.
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, and type and number of sails? Which sails are reefedReef

The amount of sail taken in by securing one set of reef-points. It is the means of shortening sail to the amount appropriate to an increase in the strength of the wind. As a verb, it means to shorten sail in a vessel by reducing the area exposed to the wind.
or furledFurl

To take in the sails of a vessel and secure them with gaskets. In the case of square-rigged ships, to haul in on the clew-lines and buntlines and roll sails up to the yards. In the case of fore-and-aft rigs, to lower and secure sails to the boom or stays.
? What is the state of the sea, wind, and sky? What coastal landmarks may be identified as geographic markers?”

Marine paintings fall into four basic categories: seascapes, harbor and inshore scenes, naval scenes, and ship portraitsShip portrait

Marine painting featuring an accurate depiction of a vessel, usually commissioned by the owner or captain.