DETAIL : Joseph-D�sir� COURT born Rouen 1797 � Paris 1865 Woman Lying on a Divan 1829 Painting Oil on canvas
Eugène ISABEY | Storm with a Shipwreck

ISABEY, Eugène
France 1803 – 1886
Storm with a Shipwreck
[La tempête, naufrage]
Oil on canvas
65.0 (h) x 82.0 (w) cm
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Eugène Isabey was a deeply Romantic painter. His work during the 1820s and 1830s is characterised by a concern with the unpredictable nature of the elements, the response of the individual to nature, and a refined, vigorous application of paint that emphasised the artist’s hand.

Storm with a Shipwreck is one of Isabey’s key Romantic seascapes. He depicts the sea as an abstract force that has the power to annihilate man and his work – our attention is drawn to the corpse of a sailor and part of the wreck of his ship in the lower corner. The violent sea and clouds and the dark, ominous rocky outcrop suggest a place of absolute danger. In this way, Isabey invokes the sublime, which was so closely associated with the sea: the sea as a space of imminent threat and an incomprehensible infinitude. Isabey’s application of paint matches the subject of work; each is as theatricalised and energetic as the other.

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