This painting, one of several by the artist that depict a sinking ship, is in the style of the English painter William Turner. Painted by the French artist Eugene Isabey (1803-1886), this oil on canvas maritime painting depicts the last moments of the doomed ship and its passengers as the frothy waves continue to pound the ship against the rocks. Amid the chaos stands a lone figure with his arms raised to the heavens in a last act of a desperate plea for help or a frustrated shout of the forsaken. Whether a painting of hope or of despair, the limited use of color and the obvious fury of both man and sea are striking in their contrast.
In 2001, This painting sold for $27,279 at a London auction held by Christie’s.
To learn more about Isabey, who inspired his work and who’s work he in turn inspired; please visit our Eugene Isabey biography.