1714 Avignon - 1789 Paris
Panel, 40,5 x 31,7 cm
Joseph Vernet, was the son of the painter and decorator Antoine Vernet.
There are three important dates in the life of Vernet: 1734 arrival in Rome, 1753 his definite return to France and 1762 when he installed himself in Paris.
From 1740 on Vernet's reputation as marine painter was established and 1743 he became member of the Académie Saint Luc in Rome. In Rome, Vernet painted the marvelous gardens, the surroundings and the picturesque sites of the Tivoli.
Panini has certainly influenced Vernet in terms of a smoother atmosphere but also in the elegance and liveliness of his figures. The scenes of shipwreck, sunsets and fire show his distinct observation of light and atmosphere. Vernet admired the exceptional art of Claude Lorrain but was himself closer to nature and more realistic than Claude, which was highly appreciated by the public. He revealed his Italian spirit in other paintings, and responded to the pre romantic feeling of nature of his contemporaries. About 1750 his colours were influenced by the chromatics of Berchem or Karel Dujardin. From 1753 to 1762 he was assigned by the Marquis de Marigny to paint twenty-two views of the Harbors of France. The fifteen paintings which he executed (most of them are in the Musée de la Marine à Paris) show Joseph Vernet as outstanding represent-ant of french vedute painting. In Vernets paintings the natural spectacle takes place right before us, he executes the aesthetic naturalism of Diderot.
This is also true for our painting, in which nature and mankind are harmoniously joined together. The movement of the fishermen recovering his fishnet is a very typical pose which Vernet uses rather ofter in the foreground of his compositions. For example in the painting at the Museum in Stuttgart.
Paris, sale Hôtel Drouot, Pierre Bergé et associés, 20 december 2013, n° 215 « dans le goût d’Hubert Robert ».