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    Sale 7446

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Including works from the Collection of Anton Philips

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 38

    Claude-Joseph Vernet (Avignon 1714-1789 Paris)

    La Cascade

    Price Realised  


    Claude-Joseph Vernet (Avignon 1714-1789 Paris)
    La Cascade
    signed and dated 'J. Vernet. 1783' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    34 5/8 x 52 in. (88 x 132.1 cm.)

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    At a time when most painters were slavishly executing portraits, history pictures and fêtes galantes, Claude-Joseph Vernet seamlessly rose to eminence as a painter of marine landscapes. He exhibited his landscapes from 1746 to 1789 at the Paris Salon, where he was praised by Denis Diderot for elevating the genre closer to the level of history painting. In addition to depicting various times of day, Vernet conveyed poignant sentiments through details in nature, possibly under the influence of Edmund Burke's anonymously published text, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757). Among Vernet's patrons in Italy were the French ambassador to Rome and the wife of Spanish King Philip V. However, his most celebrated commission came from the French court, the propagandistic series depicting the ports of France (1752-62). Vernet's seascapes would go on to inspire the more sensational compositions of Pierre-Jacques Volaire and Joseph Wright of Derby.

    Painted in 1783, this late work is a relatively rare example of Vernet giving such prominence to a waterfall in a composition, although he did famously depict the Falls at Schaffenhausen (Switzerland). Philip Conisbee has noted that Vernet purchased five gouaches by the Swiss artist Caspar Wolff (1735-1798), and his interest in Alpine-style subjects may well have been aroused by the latter (catalogue of the exhibition, Claude-Joseph Vernet 1714-1789, Kenwood, London, June-September, 1976).

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    (Possibly) Lepinasse d'Artel; sale, 11 July 1803, lot 248, one of a pair.
    (Possibly) Cab. de Preuil (according to Boisgerard catalogue, see below).
    (Possibly) Boisgerard; sale, 6 March 1820, lot 136 (one of a pair).
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 11 January 1990, lot 166.


    (Possibly) F. Ingersoll-Smouse, Joseph Vernet, Paris, 1926, II, p. 25, no. 974 ('Matin: Vue des rochers: hautes montagnes et cascades, site pittoresque représenté avec figures de soldats et de pêcheurs'; 85 x 130 cm., but described as dated 1773, on a rock, lower left)