I have spent a lot of time in front of this painting.

antwerp-van-goyen-looking-out-for-a-subject-1833

It’s “Antwerp” by J.M.W. Turner. It hangs in the Frick Museum and all by itself is reason enough for me to go to New York City. All those boats and all the people on them are toast, with one exception, whose skipper is holding grimly to the only survivable tack. The bits of flotsam at bottom left foreshadow the havoc that that storm at top right is about to wreak. Disaster is imminent and unavoidable. It’s a portrait of terror and despair.

Click on the image above and it’ll take you to the Frick’s interactive “Antwerp” page where you can zoom in and out. Better, go see it for yourself.

3 thoughts on “I have spent a lot of time in front of this painting.

    • See the ship under sail at the left, heading into port (with its two forward sails luffing)? There is a small boat right in front of it, going in the exact opposite direction. That’s the one.

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