LOUTHERBOURG Jacques Philippe de
He was the son of a miniature painter and moved to Paris with his family in 1755. There he trained under Carle van Loo (1705-1765), the engraver Jean Georges Wille (1715-1808) and the battle-scene painter François Joseph Casanova (1727-1802). Inspired by the Dutch landscape painters Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668) and Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683), the young artist participated successfully in the Paris Salon exhibition of 1763. Extolled by the famous art critic Denis Diderot, he was appointed "peintre du roi" in 1766 and admitted to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1768. In 1772, the artist settled in London, where he was active as a stage and a set designer at the Drury Lane Theater. In 1781, he became a member of the Royal Academy.
Loutherbourg frequently travelled to the untamed natural landscapes of Switzerland, Wales, Derbyshire or the Lake District.
Loutherbourg's oeuvre includes paintings of animals, portraits, battle scenes, biblical scenes, idyllic landscapes, natural disasters, and shipwrecks. His artistic influence was still apparent in the paintings of the English Romantics.
Sea Piece with Sunset
In this painting, Jacques Philippe de Loutherbourg, who modelled himself on the marine painter Claude Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), created a southern atmosphere. The picture can be compared to Vernet's work at the Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Although Loutherbourg, unlike Vernet, chose a large picture format, he adhered to the latter's picture composition: the entire left half of the painting is taken up by craggy, towering cliffs with a fortress set prominently on their steep slopes and by a distant town. On the right-hand side, there is a view of a Dutch frigate, behind which the seascape dissolves in the hazy southern atmosphere and the setting sun. In the foreground, a number of fishermen, engaged in various activities, give the painting the necessary natural touch.
This idyllic view of southern climes and the yearning for faraway places - in the 18th century for Italy in particular - were exactly to the taste of the people from all over Europe who commissioned paintings from Loutherbourg, and particularly of the English and French aristocrats and the Dutch merchants.
Gabriele Groschner, Thomas Habersatter, Erika Mayr-Oehring (Ed.): Masterworks. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg 2002, p. 82