(b. 1862, Gent, d. 1926, Saint-Clair)

The Man at the Helm

Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The Belgian painter Théo van Rysselberghe met Seurat and Signac in 1886 and adopted the pointillist style of painting developed by them. His painting shows a helmsman who is under way with his ship in high seas. By the division of the picture space the painter stresses the dramatic nature of this voyage. The sail takes up the upper left-hand corner, the man at the helm the lower right. Taut ropes cross the crest of a high wave and in this way bring in an additional dynamic element. On top of that there are the colour contrasts characteristic of pointillism.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.