The Center’s September 17 Exploring Artism focused on all types of boats and how they interact with each other on the high seas. We looked at paintings from the Center’s Special Exhibition Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting and used what we learned to build and decorate our own model boats.
First, everyone met in the Docent Room to look at pictures of different types of boats. Participants shared stories and experiences they have had on sailboats, canoes, rowboats and motorboats. We also discussed what other things one might find on a large boat, like cannons and flags!
Looking at de Loutherbourg’s large oil painting
Next we went upstairs to look at Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg’s oil painting, The Glorious Defeat of the Spanish Armada. In this painting, we saw a number of large ships very close together, lots of people on smaller rowboats and a large fire! Using what we saw in the painting, we discussed the different reasons two ships might sail that close to one another, and why one of the ships was on fire. We also talked about the meaning of the flags we saw at the top of the ships and how important it is for ships to use those flags to tell other ships where they’re from.
After looking at the painting, we went downstairs to build our own boats! Using small wooden pieces that fit into one another, participants were able to create boats that could then “sail” around the sea we had drawn on the table.
We look forward to seeing you at our Oct. 15 Exploring Artism!!!