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An image of A shipwreck off a rocky coast by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg

Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg

(France, England 31 Oct 1740 – 11 Mar 1812)

A shipwreck off a rocky coast
Media category
Materials used
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
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

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'.

Provenance (3)

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

Bibliography (4)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, 'Year in review', pg. 8-25, Sydney, 2002, 11, 12 (colour illus.), 24.

Richard Beresford', Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years, 'Transformation: Society's gifts of enriching art from Europe help collection turnaround', pg.45-7, Newtown, May 2003, 47.

Richard Beresford, Look, 'Major European work: Art Gallery Society's gift by an artist of genius', Newtown, Jun 2002, 16 (colour illus.).

Connell Nisbet, Look, 'Acquisitive minds', pg. 23-27, Newtown, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, 25 (colour illus.).