The Toilers of the Sea
Albert Pinkham Ryder American
Ryder probably either selected or approved the title of this painting, which relates it to Victor Hugo’s famous 1866 novel of the same name (Les travailleurs de la mer, in the original French). The painting could illustrate any one of several scenes in that novel, which features a fisherman character whose personality and attitudes resemble Ryder’s own. The surface has changed and suffered over the years; still, as with most of Ryder’s works, the composition conveys the artist’s vision of the mystical relationship between people and nature.