Thursday, August 26, 2010


"Night, Seaport by Moonlight"         Joseph Venet

"This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve--
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump. "

From  "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Painted about 1771, this oil resides in the Louvre in Paris and looks a bit worn here in this depiction.  I wonder if the artist was using lantern-light while painting and how that affected his selection and laydown of color.
  After sometimes months at sea, sailors must have really appreciated stomping around on solid ground, building a fire and talking with the pretty ladies of the port.  I saw somewhere while researching this painting that it is the port of Palermo shown here.  Makes me wonder if the white building shown on the hill still exists and if one  could get away with building a fire near the shoreline in these times.