PhotographerAlfred Stieglitz

CountryUnited States


JournalDie Kunst in der Photographie 1899

AtelierGeorg Büxenstein & Co.


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Boats, Genre: Women, Seashore


Image Dimensions: 12.2 x 21.0 cm : Art folio #5, plate #6

Associated Highlights:

Die Kunst in der Photographie : 1897-1908 - German photographic art journal

This photograph, taken by Stieglitz in 1894 in North Holland at Katwyk, is also known by the title:  Gossip, Katwyk. In her book:  Stieglitz-A Beginning Light, author Katherine Hoffman comments about this photograph:  

“Another well-known Katwyk image depicts the prow of a boat at anchor, its boom, lower sail, and rigging forming varied triangles.  The prow of the boat points toward two women talking nearby at the water’s edge. Entitled, Gossip, Katwyk, the photograph focuses on narrative and formal elements.  The women stand firm, their hands on their hips, forming small triangles that balance the ship’s forms and one of the women looks toward the ship.  The strong horizontal elements of the beach, water, and sky, serve as a well-integrated backdrop for the women and ship.  The small lantern on the boat seems to light the image symbolically.  Joseph Keiley, Stieglitz’s friend and fellow photographer, was to write in 1899 about this piece:  “Attention is called to the almost perfect composition of this picture.  It presents two Katwyk women, who have stopped in their stroll along the beach, have fallen into the natural attitude of their class and stood a while gossiping, catching upon their shoulders the weak, waning light of the setting sun, their united forms casting a long, faint shadow upon the sand.  The figures tone in wonderfully with the splendid back-ground of sea and sky, and bring sea, sky, and sand together into a perfect picture, whose horizontal and perpendicular lines are relieved and balanced by the curved and angular one of the sail, tackle, hull, and boom.” 1.

1.  Stieglitz : A Beginning Light: Katherine Hoffman: Yale University Press: 2004: pp. 162-164