Landscape: Fishermen by a Waterfall
About the work
De Loutherbourg's view of an unidentified, or generic landscape, can be seen as an example of an artist engaging with ideas of the Picturesque and the Sublime. As an aesthetic concept, the Sublime occupied a central part in much theoretical discussion during the eighteenth century, notably in the writings of Edmund Burke, whose 'Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful' was published in 1756. Burke's ideas influenced the German philosopher Immanuel Kant; according to him the Sublime constituted three main categories: terror, nobility and splendour. The emphasis placed on vastness, irregularity and awe-inspiring landscape made the Lake District, the Alps and parts of Wales particularly attractive to British artists and travellers.
About the artist
Philip James de Loutherbourg, was born in Germany, the son of a miniaturist and engraver. The family moved to Paris in 1755 where he studied with Carle Van Loo and Jean-Georges Wille, before entering the studio of François Joseph Casanova. He left Paris in 1768 to travel through France, Switzerland and the Rhineland. In 1771 he arrived in London, where David Garrick gave him control of the scenery at Drury Lane Theatre. He remained at the theatre when Sheridan took over. In 1781, he became a member of the Royal Academy. He travelled throughout the UK on sketching tours and began painting naval victories in the 1790s. In 1807 he was made Historical Painter to the Duke of Gloucester. He died in Hammersmith, aged 71.
- Landscape: Fishermen by a Waterfall
- Oil on canvas
- height: 100.00 cm, width: 157.00 cm
- Purchased from Appleby Bros, January 1949
- GAC number