Ryan Forsyth Aesthetics of Design 2017


My final project consisted of a dynamic model sailboat, floating in a tank with a aesthetic based on Romantic and Dutch Golden Age Maritime Art.

I have always loved model boats: at home in Maryland, almost every house has one. My house has several; I love looking at them and exploring their intricacies. When presented with the final project in Aesthetics of Design, building a model boat came to mind instantly, but most model boats are static, this project needed to be dynamic. What better way to make a model boat dynamic than by putting it in water and letting it do its thing-float?


I decided to model my project with a romantic-style/Dutch golden era-style maritime art aesthetic. This style were very popular from the late 1500s to the late 1600s and early 1700s to the mid 1800s, respectively; two of the most important contributors were T G Dutton (romantic era) and Cornelis Verbeeck (Dutch golden era). Examples of maritime art, most typically “boat portraits”, can be found in almost every major classical collection or museum. I especially liked the idea of “boat portrait” art, because the model could replace the boat in a painting, while the backdrop could remain. I used a TV with various examples of maritime art for the background, and used Verbeeck’s “An Engagement Between the Spanish and the Dutch” for the middleground (this was attached to the back of the tank). I selected this painting in particular because its color scheme matches closely with the colors and texture of the pebbles on the bottom of the tank, making the middleground seem more seamless and tying the physical model into the painting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.