A shipwreck off a rocky coast
Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg
31 Oct 1740 - 11 Mar 1812
De Loutherbourg was born in Strasbourg, but moved with his family to Paris in 1755. He exhibited at the Paris salon from 1762. His works were mainly either landscapes inspired by Dutch 17th-century prototypes or romanticised shipwrecks which continue the tradition of Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714-1789). He also painted pictures of bandits recalling the style of Salvator Rosa.
He moved to London in November 1771 where he worked as a stage designer at the Drury Lane theatre for David Garrick and subsequently for Richard Brinsley Sheridan. He is recognised as the most inventive and influential stage designer active Europe during the eighteenth century.
He continued to paint landscapes in England, his work tending to become more topographical. He subsequently turned to Biblical subjects where his sense of the dramatic find expression in scenes of terrfiying chaos, works which 'made a profound impression on J.M.W. Turner and John Martin'.
oil on canvas
83.0 x 126.4 cm; 105.5 x 148.5 x 11.5 cm frame
Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 2002
Not on display
Helbing, Munich/Germany, 19 February 1913, lot 95
Private Collection, Germany, dates unknown
Agnew's, London, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Agnew's 2002
Referenced in 5 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, Sydney, 2002, pp 11, 24, 62, col illus p 12.
Richard Beresford, Look, 'Major European work: Art Gallery Society's gift by an artist of genius', Sydney, Jun 2002, p 16, col illus p 16.
Richard Beresford', Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years, 'Transformation: Society's gifts of enriching art from Europe help collection turnaround', Sydney, May 2003, pp 45–47: p 47.
Connell Nisbet, Look, 'Acquisitive minds', Sydney, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, pp 23–27: col illus p 25.
Peter Raissis, Look, 'Au revoir Richard', Sydney, Feb 2016, pp 36–37: p 36.