Emerald Sea is one of Albert Bierstadt’s oil paintings which was done in 1978, while the artist was living in Nassau, in the Bahamas. This sight might be one he came across on one of the many Nassau beaches, but it is very likely an allegory, a metaphor for something else.
That might very likely be the case because Bierstadt knew how to render images to serve a purpose. Prove of that are the several paintings he did of landscapes of the United States of America, which expressed a glorification of America, as a place resembling paradise. This artistic action helped strengthen the American nationalism in a decisive political moment of the country. The metaphor expressed in the Emerald Sea is related to his wife’s health, who had tuberculosis.
This is a painting that differs from most of Bierstadt’s works. It doesn’t show the traditional landscape with mountains, for example, and it’s more of a close-up of a detail. The main colors in the composition are blue and emerald. There is a mast, which indicates there was a shipwreck. The fact that this painting was made during the time Bierstadt was living in Nassau can explain both the theme of this canvas as well as the allegorical meanings.
A sunken ship usually involves death. His wife’s diagnostic certainly brought this theme closer to Bierstadt’s reality. Maybe the artist’s choice of subject here shows a little of the negative feelings that being faced with the possibility of death can rise. The image doesn’t show much optimism, for the Bahamas are famous for their beautiful landscapes, and instead of portraying some paradisiac point of view, he chose of a wrecked ship and a breaking wave on the rocks.
It is, nevertheless, in addition to beautiful, a powerful painting. From the comparison between this work and the ones with which Bierstadt became most famous for, we can find great distinction in what they transmit. The sea is represented as something overwhelming. Nature’s force destroyed the ship, and its mast can be seen lying in the foreground. The sky is full of clouds.
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If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Emerald Sea, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Emerald Sea that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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