Back in 1862, little was known about the sea. There
was always some knowledge of it, like the reefs in shallow areas, but the
limitation of technology kept people from learning more about the sea’s deeper
zones. This artwork captures this mystery. The foreground shows vivid colors of
the coral, but as the viewer looks back into the distant background, the water
becomes clouded and the color becomes duller. Detail must be limited on the
background since little is known about the depths (at the time).
The artist may have painted this to provoke others
into exploring the sea. Perhaps recent exploration of the sea encouraged the artist
to create this painting. The artist hinted at the discoveries still to be made
by including the fish on the left side of the painting. Again, little detail is
included on them, suggesting that this school of fish is yet to be discovered.
All that needs to occur is curiosity to find it. To date there has been many
discoveries about the sea, but we still know very little of it. The deepest
part of the oceans called the Abyss is still shrouded with mystery.
I chose this piece
because it contrasted from most painted works: most artists illustrated
something above sea level rather than under it. Its date made me conclude that
the artist had a special fascination with the sea, and I was curious to see
what detail he included.