Edward Moran, 1877
Moran was considered the foremost marine painter in his day, although his obscurity today may be attributed to the fact that he has been overlooked in the shadow of his more famous brother, Thomas. Edward Moran saw a distinction between decorative and scientific marine painters and aligned himself with the latter. Shipwreck scenes were a favorite subject, well suited to his precise technique for rendering ocean waves and broad, dramatic skies. This is one of several works by Moran containing a broken mast bobbing in dark waters. The ominous, bleak foreground contrasts with the optimism of the brightly lit horizon, where seagulls soar and a lighthouse rises beyond the crashing waves.