Shipwreck on a Rocky Coast
Bonaventura Peeters, Flemish (active Antwerp), 1614 - 1652
Fear of the sea and the horrors awaiting mariners at the far end of the world inspired a new genre of “tempest” painting in the seventeenth century. Bonaventura Peeters never saw the coast of Brazil, but he used other travelers’ accounts to imagine a terrifying fantasy of rocky cliffs and hostile natives. The power of the storm and the helplessness of the doll-like ship convey a sense of human weakness in the face of chaotic, unknowable forces.
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