|American Paintings — Edward Moran - Ship approaching Baltimore|
|Edward Moran -
Ship approaching Baltimore
Dimensions: Canvas size: 30" x 50" Frame size: 39” x 58 3/4”
In this lively composition by Edward Moran, a harbor pilot rescues the crew and passengers of a floundering vessel in Baltimore harbor. The might and force of the sea is conveyed by its fearsome swell s, almost engulfing the two boats, and the rolling waves, breaking against the quay to the left of the composition. A steamship struggles to stay afloat in the background. The thick impasto of the white oil paint gilding the foaming edges of the waves and clouds above, is a hallmark of the artist, and one learned from his master, James Hamilton, who learned the technique from Joseph M. Turner.
Edward Moran was one of four brothers, each of whom were devoted to the art of painting. Although born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, Moran’s family emigrated to the United States when he was fifteen and arrived in Baltimore in 1844. His family settled in Maryland, and thus it was to this state that he would return throughout his life. Moran was originally trained as a weaver but, disgruntled with his situation, later moved to Philadelphia where he found other work, first as a cabinetmaker, then as a house-painter, and then as a worker in a bronze shop. Moran’s innate skills were noticed by the last of his employers who encouraged him to study painting with Paul Weber as well as the marine painter, James Hamilton. By 1857, Moran had established himself as an artist.
In 1861, Moran traveled to England to study at the Royal Academy in London, which turned out to be a critical periord to the development of his style. Upon returning to the United States, his works began to show clearly the influence of seventeenth-century Dutch painting and English painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Moran's skill in painting is widely recognized and his works hang in many venerable institutions including the National Museum of American Art, Washington D. C. and The Metropolitan Museum, New York. In an 1894 edition of The Art Amateur, Moran is pronounced “the best known painter of the sea in the United States,” and upon his death in 1901 he was roundly considered to be America’s finest marine painter.