Pictured above are several of Claude Joseph Vernet‘s most famous paintings, all of which, I am extremely partial to. I bring these to the attention of any who listen because I believe him to be one of the most over looked and little known French masters of the Enlightenment period. I found in studying this period of painters there was a huge divergence (Neoclassical) from the norm (Baroque) which was often encouraged by the then prominent Roman Catholic Church. Claude Joseph Vernet paintings really capture my attention. If you walk up to his work from many feet away you first are dazzled with color and light. You may find yourself as I have, furiously searching for the source of the light and confirmation of the intensity he is able to capture. I equate the imagery in his paintings to pausing an often dramatic, fast paced movie and scanning the entire screen looking for something you have never noticed before. I find his elegance in form and interesting blending of characters very intriguing. An example is the first pictured above, often referred to as:
“A Seaport at Sunset”
“In this painting, the artist depicts an idealized Mediterranean seaport, rather than a specific location, and uses a variety of features from the region. The lighthouse is from Naples, whereas the mountains behind it are unlike any in the vicinity of Naples. At the far right is the Arch of Constantine, which is from Rome. The lateen-rigged ship on the right is a type common to the eastern Mediterranean. The large warship is firing a salute and the nearby ships fly the Dutch flag, indicating that the painting may have been commissioned by a Dutch client.” ß Quoted
I find the breath of his work a refreshing in comparison to those many would call, the French masters (Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin)
Please explore and a send your reflections.