Sailboats at Sunset

This painting is indicative not only of Edward Moran’s preference for subject matter, but also reflects his interest in the properties of light and atmosphere at specific times of the day. Edward, like his younger brother Thomas, was interested in the relationships between color and light. While the objective focus of this painting is the placement of sailing vessels from the foreground to their diminutive placement on the horizon, the real concern for Edward is the depiction of light and air. At the horizon line on the right hand side, the water is subsumed gently into the sky. The soft, muted yellows and orange of the late day sky feel almost tangible in this scene and the reflection of light cast upon the still, calm sea reflects Edward’s admiration for J.M.W. Turner’s style. Sailboats at Sunset typifies in many ways the style and ability of Edward Moran as found in the numerous paintings that resulted from his sketching tours along the eastern shores of the United States.

Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection