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This work is being displayed in public for the first time. When Laine Pant’s family fled to the West during World War II, they took this paining with them to Canada. Pant bequeathed the painting to the Museum of Estonians Abroad, where it now resides. Laine Pant’s father was the owner of a successful brewery in Tartu and perhaps he was the one who bought the painting, but more likely, it was the mother of Laine Pant, Maria Silvere. Silvere was active in the Tartu women’s movement and Mägi himself interacted with many leaders of the movement, so the painting may have come into the family through her.
The painting was painted on Saaremaa Island in 1913 or 1914. A number of unusual aspects stand out in the Saaremaa series. Mägi rarely depicted the sea in his paintings done in Kihelkonna and Saaremaa’s offshore island of Vilsandi: the sea is usually pushed to an edge of the painting or only an estuary is shown; Mägi does not usually give us panoramic views of open expanses of water. Perhaps this is due to technical reasons, ones related to colour: the sea kept Mägi from using his whole bright, practically psychedelic palette. In this painting, Mägi not only gives a wide-angle view of the sea, he also keeps the selection of colours much more muted than usual. It seems as if he was not painting in the middle of the day as usual, but in the evening, when everything is dimly lit and a restrained aura descends over everything. The reddish setting sun above the horizon also suggests a later hour. On Saaremaa, Mägi painted the sun a number of times in a direct manner, or he depicted the reflections of the sun on the clouds, but in this work, the sun appears as a geometric patch of red. It does not contain the apocalyptic or metaphysical power that his other solar paintings do; it is above all a muted source, a small reddish patch of light.
The reproduction of these works without the express written consent of the owner of the works is prohibited.