Master Paintings & Sculpture Part I

Master Paintings & Sculpture Part I

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 54. A storm near a rocky coast, with a group of fishermen pulling a wrecked boat in the foreground.

Property of a Private Collector

Claude-Joseph Vernet

A storm near a rocky coast, with a group of fishermen pulling a wrecked boat in the foreground

Auction Closed

January 27, 05:11 PM GMT


250,000 - 350,000 USD

Lot Details


Property of a Private Collector

Claude-Joseph Vernet

Avignon 1714 - 1789 Paris

A storm near a rocky coast, with a group of fishermen pulling a wrecked boat in the foreground

signed, dated and placed on the bark lower left: Joseph Vernet f Romæ / 1747

oil on canvas

canvas: 29 1/4 by 38 3/8 in.; 74.4 by 97.5 cm.

framed: 37 5/8 by 46 1/2 in.; 95.5 by 118.3 cm.






款識:藝術家於左下角船上簽名並紀年 Joseph Vernet f Romæ / 1747


畫布:29 1/4 x 38 3/8 英寸;74.4 x 97.5 公分

連框:37 5/8 x 46 1/2 英寸;95.5 x 118.3 公分

Possibly with Colnaghi, London, mid-20th century;
Anonymous sale, Fraysse & Associés, December 5, 2012, lot 52;
There acquired. 
Probably F. Ingersoll-Smouse, Joseph Vernet, Paris 1926, vol. I, p. 49, cat. no. 169. 

Signed and dated 1747, this dramatic view of a Mediterranean coast was executed while Vernet was in Rome, where he had settled in 1734. The artist was elected to the Accademia di San Luca in 1743 and approved by the Academie Royale in Paris three years later, just before he executed the present picture. By this time, the public was well acquainted with his work and his reputation had been established amongst the local French community as well as the Roman nobility and visitors on the Grand Tour. 

Vernet remained in Italy until 1753; it was during his time there that he developed the compositional vocabulary and painterly style that were to serve him so well throughout his long career. Vernet's paintings from this period were mostly imaginary landscapes or coastal views incorporating realistic landmarks and figures suggesting southern Italy. What made these views remarkable was his ability to evoke not simply a place and time of day, but a particular atmosphere and mood as well.  

The majority of Vernet's marine compositions explore mankind's precarious relationship with nature, either celebrating the sea as a serene passage ripe with bountiful harvest or demonstrating man's fragility in the face of nature's wrath. The present work demonstrates the latter, with a dramatic storm moving off the coast in the distance and fishermen in the foreground struggling to bring their wrecked boat ashore. A further ship in the distance is keeling almost to the point of capsizing and large waves continue to crash upon the rocky shore at left. 

This painting would have originally been conceived as a pair; the present canvas, depicting a storm scene, would have been complimented by a calm and tranquil view of the coast, most likely during the morning sunrise or at dusk. 

A painting of the same composition was sold at Me Daguerre in Paris, 2 December 2009, lot 127, as attributed to Henry d’Arles.