Artist: French Painter (early 19th century)
Date: ca. 1825
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 23 1/4 x 28 3/8 in. (59 x 72 cm)
Credit Line: Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003
Accession Number: 2003.42.56
Vernet, the youngest member of an artistic dynasty, emerged as a highly respected and prolific history painter in the 1820s and 1830s. This turbulent coast scene evokes the shipwreck imagery that his grandfather, Joseph Vernet, popularized in mid-eighteenth-century France; these images catered to the growing taste for the sublime, an aesthetic that celebrated the awe-inspiring power of nature. A direct descendant of such sublime views, Vernet's painterly rendering of the aftermath of a shipwreck reflects the Romantic predilection for violence and pathos.