Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–1789): A Storm on a

7/6/2021, 12:07:54 PM
Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–1789): A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast, 1767, Oil on canvas, 113 × 145.7 cm (44 1/2 × 57 3/8 in.), Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles French artist, Claude-Joseph Vernet painted highly successful storm scenes, shipwrecks, and moonlit night-pieces. These pictures foreshadowed Romantic landscape painting while appealing to the mid- to late 1700s' taste for the 'Picturesque'. The artist depicted in this painting a storm's aftermath: dark clouds above an angry sea, a shipwrecked boat and its anxious survivors, and listing ships in the distance. As the sea furiously beats against the shoreline, waves explode beyond the rocks in a froth of white. The motion of the waves, the distant rain shaft, the battered ship, and even the bodies of the fleeing castaways fill the scene with strong, opposing diagonal lines. The lighthouse standing solidly upright at the painting's center counters all of this activity. The strong colors of the shipwrecked survivors' clothing stand out against the palette of greens, grays, and browns in the turbulent sea. Clearing skies cast the survivors in an eerie glow; dark tones at the left and lower edges and in the waves themselves draw further attention to the bright figures. (getty.edu)

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