Rocky coast in Normandy, c. 1850
Under heavy stormy skies, a two-master has come dangerously close to a Norman rocky coast; it is pushed against the offshore breakwater. The sea is dramatically churned up and threatens to capsize the manoeuvrable sailing vessel. Numerous people have gathered on the breakwater, others have climbed rocky outcrops and are watching the disaster. High up on a rock stands a cross as a symbol of the finiteness of all being and doing. The landscape and marine painter Julius Hintz, who came from Hamburg, is known at the time as Jules because he spends most of his career in Paris and is attributed by contemporaries to the French school. After his apprenticeship years, he probably moved to the French capital in 1833 and became a pupil of the famous marine painter Eugène Isabey (1803-1886) around 1840. In 1834 Hintz takes part in the renowned Salon de Paris for the first time, which was followed by regular attendance from 1847 onwards. He receives two awards from the Salon and several of his works are purchased by the French state.
Julius Hintz devotes himself – presumably under Isabey‘s influence – primarily to marine painting. Although his coastal landscapes and harbour views were very successful, his name is usually associated with that of his teacher. 1862, his works are exhibited one last time posthumously at the Salon.