The Icebergs is the name of a famous painting made by Fredrick Edwin Church, a renowned American artist, in 1861 (Avery 12). As described by the Dallas Museum of Art, the painting was originally referred as “The North” but unfortunately it did not attract the attention of art enthusiasts. Church added some details to the painting’s foreground including a broken ship mast, and changed its name to the now famous title, The Icebergs.
The painting was later shipped to London where it was sold at an exhibition in 1863 to Sir William Edward Watkin, an English tycoon (Spiegelman 21). Moreover, it was hidden from the public limelight for around116 years until it resurfaced at an auction in 1979, where it was sold for a breathtaking $2.5 million; the most remarkable price for an American painting then. It was later donated to Dallas Museum of Art by an unidentified benefactor, where it is located to date.
The painting depicts a hostile scene filled with icebergs in the arctic, broken mast indicating a possible a maritime accident. Church made this painting in memory of sailors who vanished in a ship captained by Sir John Franklin (Harvey 35). This artwork is painted with oil on canvas and its brilliant colors make it quite attractive to viewers at first glance. Through the shades of orange and brown paint on its left side, one can visualize a distant sunset from the image. Its mix of deep and light shades shows the momentous icebergs as they would have looked like in the arctic in the nineteenth century (Avery 15).
Its framed dimensions are 2 m 15.9 cm by 3 m 37.821 cm by 12.7 cm, and it weighs about 192.78 kg as documented by Dallas Museum of Art. It can be accessed at the American art galleries (19th century), 4th floor, Dallas Museum of art; and it has been assigned 1979.28 as its accession number (Dallas Museum of Art 8).The Icebergs remains one of the most celebrated works of art by an American.
Avery, Kevin. “Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)”. The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2009. Web. 17th Apr. 2016.
Dallas Museum of Art. “The Icebergs”. Dallas Museum of Art. Retrieved 17th Apr. 2016 from https://www.dma.org/collection/artwork/frederic-edwin-church/icebergs
Dallas Museum of Art. “The Voyage of the Icebergs: Frederic Church's Arctic Masterpiece”. Dallas Museum of Art. Retrieved 17th Apr. 2016 from https://www.dma.org/voyage-icebergs-frederic-churchs-arctic-masterpiece
Harvey, Eleanor Jones. “The Voyage of the Icebergs: Frederic Edwin Church's Arctic Masterpiece”. Rhode Island College.Web 17th Apr. 2016.
Spiegelman, Willard. “The Icebergs' (1861) By Frederic Edwin Church". The Wall Street Journal. 2012. Web. 18th Apr. 2016.