Friday, May 8, 2015

WORK OF THE WEEK: Essex Inbound by Nicholas Berger

Nicholas Berger
Essex Inbound
oil on board
25 1/4 x 37 inches

Essex Inbound depicts the most famous whaleship of all time, the Essex, from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Essex captained by George Pollard, Jr. left Nantucket for its final voyage on August 12, 1819. In 1820 while sailing in the Southern Pacific Ocean the ship was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale, the only known attack of a whale on a ship. The surviving crew spent months at sea before the final eight survivors were rescued. First mate Owen Chase and cabin boy Thomas Nickerson wrote account of the ordeal that would later inspire Herman Melville to pen his 1851 classical American novel Moby-Dick. The story of the Essex also inspired the New York Times Best Seller, In the Heart of the Sea, written by Nantucket author Nathaniel Philbrick. In the Heart of the Sea is scheduled to be released this year as a feature film directed by Ron Howard.

In this historically accurate painting, artist Nicholas Berger, depicts the Essex entering Nantucket Harbor. Renown for his attention to detail Berger includes every detail of the legendary whaleship including the smokestack used for processing whale products during long voyages at sea.  
Nicholas Berger holds BFA and MFA from Alfred University and teaches at the undergraduate level. Berger's career as an artist spans three decades and has brought him national and international acclaim. His work is sought by discriminating collectors and his paintings are found in the private collections of a former U.S. President and well-known entertainers. Considered one of the great American artists, Berger's work has been part of numerous prominent exhibitions and shows, including a sold-out two-man show with Andrew Wyeth in Tokyo.

Nicholas Berger's paintings have the power to draw the viewer into the heart of the scene, interacting with each individual in a personal way. Having worked for several decades in watercolor, his recent work is painted in oil. In this new medium, viewers will continue to find the sensitivity reminiscent of Berger's watercolors, the beauty of his signature detail work, and the subtlety and fine nuances that continue to place his work among the best.

Nicholas Berger lives in the Hudson Highlands, enjoying the natural beauty of an area that has inspired American artists since the earliest days.

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