George Inness’s rough, energetic brushstrokes evoke the raw beauty and potentially destructive power of the ocean in this dramatic seascape. He created it during a trip to Europe in the early 1870s. It was previously thought to depict Étretat, in Normandy, France, but scholars now believe that the image is of Porto d’Anzio, Italy. The sky is illuminated by patches of orange and white light, outlining the ships and distant town on the horizon. Careful study of the surface of the central rock in the foreground illustrates the artist’s impressive manipulation of paint: by employing shifts in texture and shading, he was able to emphasize distinctions between sun and shadow, wet and dry, and clean a...
Oil on canvas
76.8 x 114.9cm
Image and text courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago, 2019
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