Peter Bilas was born in Austria in 1952 and began painting as a hobby at the age of 15 in order to satiate a fascination with ships. Peter has dedicated himself entirely to marine art. He has held numerous exhibitions in South Africa and he is regularly invited to participate in the annual international marine exhibition at Mystic Seaport in the USA, one of the largest and most prestigious maritime galleries in the world. Peter has dedicated himself to chronicling South African maritime history.
South Africa has very few artists recording its maritime past and present events. Peter has a sharp eye for detail and a strong feeling for the sea. He holds a vast library and studies the history of each ship in detail before he portrays it on canvas. Peter's concern for technical accuracy is reflected in his paintings of sailing ships with their detailed rigging and the correct setting of the sails. Peter says this of his work "I feel that there is no need to defend realistic paintings when portraying the sea and ships, since photography really succeeds in communicating the constantly changing face of the sea. Furthermore, painting the sea with its extremes of moods is essentially a work of impressionism.
Contrasting this impressionism with the detailed and accurate study of a ship results in a painting that appeals as much to the emotions as the intellect." Peter's work is represented in collections worldwide. In 1996 Peter's stamp design to mark the Safmarine's 50th Anniversary was voted the best stamp design. Peter has produced work for a number of books. It is not often that there are paintings by this artist on offer as he works primarily on commissioned pieces.
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