On April 15, 1912, the world-famous Titanic crashed into an iceberg and sank into the Atlantic ocean. The scale of this passenger liner and the tragedy of the event made the vessel a world-famous piece of history. Over a century after the ship met its end, artist Eliott Sontot looks back at the Titanic's fascinating past, capturing its size, grandeur, and calamity in a series of expressive digital paintings.
The French artist traces his interest in the ship to when he was a child. “I remember watching James Cameron's movie and being fascinated by the ship, the era it was set in, and most of all, the incredible story that happened,” Sontot tells My Modern Met. “Ever since then, I've been studying it through books, articles, documentaries, and so on.” Through the Titanic, he also became interested in maritime subjects as a whole and studied different aspects of nautical life.
This ongoing series includes paintings of the ship when it was intact and when it was under duress. In the scenes set prior to the crash, the Titanic is depicted from afar to emphasize its massive scale. Other renderings look inside the vessel to when water was filling up the opulent interior, including the grand central staircase. Sontot enhances the emotional impact of these visuals by applying brush strokes in a loose way, with bold patches of color.
“My aim is to convey a sense of realism while staying true to my art style, but most of all, an atmospheric scenery of the era it was set in, a mood, that everyone could relate to, or experience at some point,” he continues. “Making these paintings is also a way for me and for the people that see them to remember a tragedy that happened in a time that seems so far from us now, and left a mark on history forever.