"EX VOTO" SECTION

This section is being prepared. It is the aim of the Museum's Direction to acquire a significant collection of antique paintings representing littorals, portraits of sailing ships, steamships and warships of the XVIII and XIX century.
It is a difficult task, considering that an invaluable historical and ethnographic treasure is lost. Apart from the "ex voto", i.e. "offerings" (temperas, water-colours and oil paintings, etc.) representing a particular sailing iconography, the recovery/salvage in this section has become extremely problematic, because, in the last fifteen years or so, the phenomenon of collecting has created a specific interest for this type of decorative and technical painting.
The artists who carried out these fine works of art were often using the same backgrounds and landscapes (in many paintings you can see the lighthouse of Genoa, the Vesuvius or docks of arsenals) with the purpose of consigning their picture to a captain or shipbuilder, or else to the wardroom of a warship in the shortest possible time. In Italy, the most prestigious and famous names, especially for the perfect rendering of the ships form and for what can be easily defined as one of the most important testimony of the heroic age of sailing, are: Gavarrone, Arpe, Fedi, Luzzo, Roberto, Fondo, De Simone, Papaluca, etc. Outside of Italy, amongst the most important names are those of: Camillieri, Roux, Dutton, Chapell, Jacobsen, Petersen, Adam, Walters, Tansen, Spencer, Clerck, and among the still living: Tom Wells, Chapelet, Jurgen, all ex captains of Cape Horn.
The Museum offers a discrete collection of works by these artists, especially Roux, Roberto, Papaluca, Wells and Jurgen. These painters always created works of value, where nautical precision goes hand in hand with picturesque significance and with the ability to render perfectly the livid hues of a tempest, the breakers, the clouds carried by the mistral, the fatal and menacing moments of a shipwreck. Wodden votive tablets, tempera works, water-colours, etc. are an effective evidence of the tragic aspects of an era of courage, sacrifice, faith and labour during three centuries of life at sea.

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