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“Shipwreck” is characterised by a romantic motif, lighting effects, emphasised movement of clouds as well as a heavy, cold palette of tones and free brushwork. The author of this modestly sized painting has managed to show an infinite breadth of space in which all the objects are subordinated to the processes of movement, change and transformation. The dramatic mood is achieved through the dynamic diagonal lines of the ship and the rocks as well as the contrasting interplay between the light and dark areas. In romanticism the shipwreck motif symbolises the dashing of hopes and the inevitable power of destiny. However, by depicting survivors, the author indicates man’s ability to overcome the forces of nature and begin life anew.

Details

  • Title: Shipwrech
  • Creator: Johann Christian Clausen Dahl (1788, Bergen–1857, Dresden)
  • Date: 1832
  • Location Created: Norway
  • Physical Dimensions: 31.8 x 25.1 cm
  • History: Acquired from the collection of Friedrich Wilhelm Brederlo (1905/1906)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Latvian National Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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