Gone to the bottom

“People are always saying they loved me in Titanic…”

Cate Blanchett

In the James Cameron movie Titanic, the ship contained Monets, Degas and Picassos. Many treasures went to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with the RMS Titanic in 1912, but not any works by these great artists. Arguably, this is the the greatest artistic loss of the sinking. La Circassienne Au Bain was a large neoclassical oil painting by Merry-Joseph Blondel. This piece was exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1814. The critics didn’t particularly like it. There were technical misgivings about the twist of the upper body and a general lack of grace. Also, what is going on over by the fountain? The elaborately named titanic survivor, Mauritz Haken Bjornstrom-Steffanson, successfully made a claim for $100,000 against the White Star Line for the loss of the artwork. This was the single biggest compensation payout arising from the tragedy, from a total of just over $600,000. #lovetitanicbelfast #letsmakelemonade

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