Fishermen at Sea

Media - 1983.95.215 - SAAM-1983.95.215_1 - 65171
Copied Henry Ossawa Tanner, Fishermen at Sea, ca. 1913, oil on canvas, 4635 14 in. (116.989.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Jesse O. Tanner, 1983.95.215
Free to use

Artwork Details

Fishermen at Sea
ca. 1913
4635 14 in. (116.989.5 cm.)
lower right in oil: H.O. TANNER
Credit Line
Gift of Jesse O. Tanner
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape
  • Figure group — male
  • Occupation — industry — fishing
  • Waterscape — sea
  • Architecture — boat — sailboat
Object Number

Artwork Description

Conservators discovered this painting on the back of Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Salome during restoration. Early in his career, Tanner painted marine scenes that showed man’s struggle with the sea, but by 1895 he was creating mostly religious works. In this painting, Tanner depicted a passage described in the book of Matthew: "But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary." The surging sea pushes the boat to an almost vertical position, revealing the fishermen that Tanner rendered as dabs of paint.