An image of A shipwreck off a rocky coast

Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg

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

A shipwreck off a rocky coast

15th–19th c European art
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'.

oil on canvas
81.5 x 125.2 cm original canvas; 82.7 x 126.0 cm stretcher; 105.5 x 148.5 x 11.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., brown paint "J P [de]e L fec / 17[5?][?]".

Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 2002
Accession number
Helbing, Munich/Germany, 19 February 1913, lot 95
Private Collection, Germany, dates unknown. Sold at auction, Van Ham, Cologne, 8 Apr 2000, lot 1537.
Agnew's, London, 14 Dec 2000-2002, London/England, Purchased at auction, Sotheby's London, 14 Dec 2000, no 220 (consigned to them from the 'continental trade). Purchased by the AGNSW from Agnew's, 26 Feb 2002.