Date: 1909
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 40 x 60 in. (101.6 x 152.4 cm) frame: 56 × 75 in. (142.2 × 190.5 cm)
Illustration Citation: Not reproduced.
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, 1912
Object Number: 1912-136
About: The story of this painting resides not in a narrative plot but in the pirate's state of hopeless abandonment. He has been marooned - the most extreme punishment for violators of the pirates' code of conduct - and left to die on an isolated sand bar with a day's supply of water, no food or shelter, and often with a loaded pistol. Inescapable sand and burning sky, and birds in flight without alighting, intensify the emotional impact of his fate. The tension of his interlocked fingers foreshadows the drawn-out agony of madness, to be followed by death from thirst and starvation. The painting is a portrait not just of the end of an adventurer's life but a commentary on human suffering.
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