MILAN – In addition to being an essential natural element that gives life to every living being, water is also one of the most powerful elements interpreted in literature, architecture and art. Here is a list of eight paintings that celebrate water.
PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA, THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST
The baptism of Christ is a favourite subject of holy paintings. One of the best known paintings is “The Baptism of Christ” by Piero della Francesca (1416-1492).
SANDRO BOTTICELLI, THE BIRTH OF VENUS
The purity ascribed to water as a source of life can even be found in mythology. As is the case of Botticelli’s (1445-1510) The Birth of Venus.
GIORGIONE, THE TEMPEST
The great unknown, rolling in across the sea has long attracted the attention and fuelled the passion of classic and modern artists. Giorgione (c. 1478-1510) features a bolt of lightning that precedes the storm in his painting The Tempest.
JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER, THE SHIPWRECK
A painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), The Shipwreck clearly shows the fury of the elements.
CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH, CHALK CLIFFS OF RÜGEN
As in many other paintings, this work of Friedrich shows his subjects from behind. They look out over the beauty of the sea framed by the cliffs that prevent the eye from appreciating the full extent of the water.
EDOUARD MANET, ON THE BEACH
A woman reading, a man gazing at the beach, both pictures of elegance. Neither of them seem concerned by the slightly rough sea crowded with boats and clearly depicted on the horizon. A moment of peace free from challenging thoughts.
VINCENT VAN GOGH, STARRY NIGHT OVER THE RHONE
One evening in late September in 1888, Vincent Van Gogh was on the banks of the Rhone, near the French city of Arles. He had just finished painting the landscape to the south-west – a view of the river with the lights of the town in the background – and suddenly decided to turn his easel around.
PABLO PICASSO, FIGURES ON THE BEACH
The water is still, love is in the air and there is a feeling of secret passion between the figures in Picasso’s Figures on the Beach. The background of calm blue water represents the sea.