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In Danger

Hendrik Willem Mesdag

European Art

On View: Beaux-Arts Court, East, 3rd Floor
Surging Seas

Throughout his career Claude Monet depicted France’s English Channel coastline. In works such as Rising Tide at Pourville,
he combined keen observation with Impressionism’s subjective use of color and light effects.

Henrik Willem Mesdag also painted churning waters, of the nearby North Sea. Here, a small ship with wind-torn sails is tossed by massive, white-capped waves. The broad expanse of water, almost matching the tone of the sky, dramatizes nature’s mighty power.

While summering at Étretat, the Realist painter Gustave Courbet was drawn to nature in an unbridled state, capturing a wave breaking at high tide. He wrote to the poet Victor Hugo: "The sea! The sea! . . . in her fury which growls, she reminds me of the caged monster who can devour me."
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES ca. 1895
    DIMENSIONS 35 13/16 x 49 7/16 in. (91 x 125.6 cm) frame: 51 x 64 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (129.5 x 163.8 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "H W. Mesdag"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Beaux-Arts Court, East, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 26.604
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. James Quinlan in memory of her husband
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Hendrik Willem Mesdag (Dutch, 1831-1915). In Danger, ca. 1895. Oil on canvas, 35 13/16 x 49 7/16 in. (91 x 125.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. James Quinlan in memory of her husband, 26.604
    IMAGE overall, 26.604_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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