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Tornabuoni Arte

Seascape with storm
Avignon 1714-Paris 1789
oil on canvas
cm. 56x89

These two elegant pendant paintings illustrate, with subtle pastel shades yet striking contrast, two very different moments of life at sea. The serene view of boats that are placidly moored and anchored in the morning mist, as the seamen gradually resume their work, is offset by the other painting, which features a dramatic scene of a shipwreck with sailors facing the fury of the elements. The pair of paintings essentially appears to contrast two genres of landscape, the serene vision of nature in the style of Claude Lorrain and the “picturesque” represented by Salvator Rosa: the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Also one of the greatest painters specialized in these motifs, the Frenchman Joseph Claude Vernet, loved to offer his customers, most of whom were foreigners taking their Grand Tour in Italy, paintings of both types. Verned had chosen to remain in Rome, where he had arrived in 1734 to become the pupil of a fellow countryman and painter of seascapes, Adrien Manglard. The author of the works presented here, who may be Dutch if we are to judge from the standards raised on the mast of the felucca moored in anchorage, seems to have taken inspiration from the famous specialist from Avignon, who had a large number of followers.

Tornabuoni Arte