Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Marine, The Waterspout (1870)

Gustave Courbet: Marine, The Waterspout

Courbet first witnessed a waterspout at Trouville, a village on the Channel Coast, in 1865 or 1866. This dramatic phenomenon, a tornado at sea, occurs when temperature differences in the air create a whirling spiral of wind and water. Courbet first painted the subject in 1866 (Philadelphia Museum of Art). The present picture features the cliffs of Étretat, as does a second, undated version of the composition. [ Metropolitan Museum of Art]

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