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Seascape prints fall within the same category as landscapes, and have been a part of the academic hierarchy of genres in the Western academic art tradition. Dutch painting and printmaking of the 17th and 18th century favored seascapes and maritime subjects, reflecting the nations seafaring ventures in trade and politics.
Though their interest was on representation of the ships, many artists did attempt to capture weather phenomena as well. The seascape and landscape genre, however, was at the lowly end of the academic hierarchy, until artists such as Joseph Mallord William Turner caught the attention of financial supporters and elevated maritime scene painting to academic esteem in the Romantic age.
Influenced by Dutch master paintings and prints, Turner sought to capture the various moods of nature, particularly stormy maritime scenes, in his own style. He was a prolific printmaker and included seascapes in this body of work. The French seascape painter Eugene Boudin also helped to elevate the medium, and was an inspiration to the impressionist artists that followed him. Though not a prolific printmaker, he did explore the medium, with harbor scenes and seascapes as the subject of choice.
The 17th century printmaker Jacques Callot developed many advancements in the technique of etching and made more than 1,400 prints
An American group of painters known as the Luminists were particularly interested in capturing the effects of light on water, and often left out signs of human presence within their composition, such as boats or fishermen
European Impressionist painter Monet was interested in capturing the rapidly changing effects of light on the seascape. He was inspired by the paintings of Eugene Boudin, and the seascape remained an important subject throughout his career