Luminous morning coloration radiates the cloud-covered skies in this fine painting by Maurice De Haas, warming the dayís beginning for numerous mariners who started with the dawn. Every manner of ship propulsion is visible, from the stalwart sidewheeler steaming through a multitude of sailing ships to the rowed craft of the fishermen in the foreground water. Viewed from an elevated shore position, the amount of nautical traffic and the direction of the rising sun suggests a south facing shore along Cape Cod, perhaps Hyannis, or the outer shores of Long Island near Southampton.
The sky glows with a range of warm oranges, pinks and yellows, with the clouds blushing from the soft morning light to their dark edges where they are thickly layered. Sky breaks show the brilliant turquoise blue of the brightening day, and the sails of large cutter and schooner glow forth in the sunís light. In contrast, the ocean is a thick deep green, with brown depths and flashes of red next the white streaks in interesting blends.
Nice additional touches include the anchor incorporated into the artistís signature between his name and the date, and the wonderful original American frame with its restored gilt full of floral carving and engraved motifs. This outstanding composition needs only the luminosity created by the color and light of the artistís vision and brushes to enrich any surroundings. The ability to depict these light qualities is what De Haas is best known for.
Deep coloration presides in this painting, backlit with the luminous finale of a warm day off the New York Coast. This painting is from a view northeast of Long Island, looking southwest at the elevations of Montauk Point and Long Island Proper. De Haas, well familiar with the sailing environs of greater New York, and well beyond the waters of the sound.
The burnished sky glows with a range of warm yellows, with the cloud caps blazing strongest as the sun, well, sets. The largest ship, a steam-sail merchantman running perpendicular to the wind, cuts through the scene with several schooners sailing on the horizon for parts elsewhere. A two-masted lugger was an uncommon but not unknown of sight in New York waters, as several were used as life saving vessels as well as fishers, in part due to their very quick directional handling. Even at this distance, they are working their sailing to keep clear of the large ship.
Deep ocean currents cut through the North Atlantic, and de Haas shows he has given them notice, for his water portrays some of the chaotic action of the swells near the coastlines. In an interesting manner, he chose to impart the difficulties of vision a setting sun at sea creates, with the darkening of the lower elevations, and the brightest illumination existing on the undersides of the clouds, rising even beyond the reach of the tall shipís masts. The last moments of precious daylight will be met with oil lamps and extended watches as the sailors head away and toward New York.