Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"The Titanic" by Willy Stower

“The Titanic” was painted shortly after the actual disaster of the RMS Titanic shockingly sinking. The painting was created by Willy Stöwer who was a well known artist in Germany throughout his life, (1864 – 1931). Stöwer mainly focused on maritime paintings including “The Titanic”, which prevailed the actual scene of the tragedy. After the RMS Titanic sank in 1912 this painting was created but it is unknown when exactly Stöwer formed this black and white realistic scene.
Stöwer uses the blend of the black and white contrast to sharpen the pain of the painting. Also the black and white was smudged all around so the painting would actually look like the scene was full of confusion and not perfectly clear. In “The Titanic” the focal point is the ship sinking and the one life boat, which is shown larger than the others, and these focal points are emphasized by the deep dark shade of black, which causes them to stand out. The focal points also are surrounded by a thin layer of white color to help highlight them. All of the people in the water swimming for their lives shows how unprepared they must have been, which obviously means that this event came as a huge shock. Also the people in the life boats have their arms up and seem to be made and shouting to figure out the situation.
Although the people in “The Titanic” can not be heard, most likely they are upset and shocked, which is shown by their facial expressions and body language. Here the RMS Titanic is sinking and everyone is scrambling to get to safely. But the ship and its crew were obviously very much unprepared. From looking at this painting one may wonder why the people are so blurry and hard to identfy. Also it may be questioned why the ice bergs are pictured so small and calm.


Nicole N. said...

The Titanic sinking was soo sad, but you wrote your critique really well.

Cindy said...

I like this picture, it is very emotional and shocking.

Theo Horsten said...

Except from the one iceberg the Titanic rammed, there were no icebergs in the vicinity, so Stöwer shouldn't have painted them.
The fourth stack of the Titanic was a dummy so there couldnt have been any black smoke coming out of it.
Furthermore that lifeboat in the foreground is almost empty while people should have been packed in it. There was ample time to launch the lifeboats and they were loaded with people to the limit before they were lowered.
But... it still is a nice picture.

LarsL said...

One of the more flagrant errors is that Titanic sinks in daylight. Meanwhile I wouldn't criticize the lack of passangers in the lifeboat. Indeed there was enough time to load the lifeboats, however the first ones being lowered had to be sent away while no one wanted to leave the still very pleasent and secure Titanic. She was unsinkable after all, and why risk one's life in a little wooden boat then? Lifeboat 1 was lowered containing only 12 people. So the lifeboat scene is actually rather accurate.