Sunday, March 29, 2015

Claude-Joseph Vernet

Seaport by Moonlight
oil on canvas
98 × 164 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), born in Avignon as a son of a decorative painter, was a French landscape and marine painter whose works constitute a remarkable record of 18th-century life.

In 1734, he left for Rome to study landscape designers and maritime painters, where we find the styles and subjects of his paintings. After returning to Paris he became a member of the French Royal Academy and was commissioned by King Louis XV to paint the port series.

He catered to a new taste for idealized, somewhat sentimentalized landscapes. His shipwrecks, sunsets, and conflagrations reveal an unusually subtle observation of light and atmosphere.