Station: [5] Thomas Fearnley | Seascape, n. d.

Brought to a dramatic head, we see the bow of the sailing ship climbing the tumultuous crests of the stormy sea’s waves.The ship is already approaching dangerously close to a pier wall that stretches into the picture from the left.Another large sailing ship travels along the vividly colourful horizon.Cloud formations and ocean waves, light and shadow, lightness and darkness are engaged in an interplay of kindred forces. 

For its day, the work is unusually expressive in its use of colour and was created under the influence of a painting by the French painter Théodore Gudin – one of French Romanticism’s most important painters of seascapes. This Frenchman had more first-hand knowledge of the sea than almost anyone else; after all, he had been a sailor before his career as a painter.Much suggests that the Norwegian painter Thomas Fearnley saw the painting that provided his model during his 1835/36 stay in Paris.Words of praise spoken by a contemporary about Gudin also apply in the same way to Fearnley’s painting:(quotation)“These are incomparable tones in which the painter understands how to depict the ocean, the sea air and the lights on the water with the greatest feeling”(end of quotation).

Fearnley was not granted a long life.He died of typhoid in 1842, at the age of 39.