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Painting Title Fishermen Hauling in their Nets on a Rocky Coast
Alternative Title The Wreckers
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Loutherbourg, Philippe Jacques de (Alsatian painter, illustrator, and scenographer, 1740-1812)
Date 1767 (dated)
Signed yes

A rocky coast scene; on the right is a tower on a promontory. In the foreground, right, a small group of figures drags wreckage out of the sea; one holds a horse to carry off the spoil. Beyond are further figures, two in a little boat which is buffeted against the rocks. To the left are four sailing ships on the open sea. Loutherbourg's pictures of 1760s were painted very much under the influence of Joseph Vernet. An exact copy of this painting (with the same signature and of the same size) was in the collection of Count Trollebonde-Trolleholm (sold at Sotheby's, London, 29 April 2014, lot 144).

Philip James de Loutherbourg was born in Strasbourg in 1740; from 1755 he studied painting in Paris and in 1767 (although he was only 27) he was elected to the French Academy. He travelled travelled through Switzerland, Germany, and Italy; in 1771 he settled in London. He was mainly known for his naval works, set designs for London theatres, and his invention of a mechanical theatre called the 'Eidophusikon'.

Current Accession Number YORAG : 33
Inscription front lr 'P. J. de Loutherbourg 1767'
Subject landscape; marine; figure
Measurements 63.5 x 78.7 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by John Burton 1882.
Principal Exhibitions Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution, Summer Exhibition, York, 1883, no. 121 as 'Seascape'; Peintures Anglaises des Collections d'York et du Yorkshire, Dijon, 1957, no. 12.
Publications Howarth, E., Catalogue of Pictures in the Permanent Collection, York, 1907, cat. 21; Jacob, J., Peintures anglaises des collections d'York et du Yorkshire, Dijon, 1957, cat. 12; York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings vol. II: English School 1500-1850, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1963, p. 63, pl. 25; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 305 as 'The Wreckers'.

John Burton (1799-1882) was a horse dealer and farmer; he created a collection of paintings (mainly Victorian) in his villa in Poppleton, Yorkshire. He had been on the organising committees for the 1866 and 1879 exhibitions in York and decided to leave his collection to the citizens of York rather than his first choice, the National Gallery (he was persuaded to change his will a month prior to his death). The Burton Bequest of 127 pictures founded the York Gallery's permanent collection.

Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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