Movement: Landscape and Marine
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Famous Artworks
“Italian Landscape,” 1738
“Four Times of the Day,” 1757
“The Port of Rochefort,” 1763
“The Shipwreck,” 1772
Claude-Joseph Vernet was a painter of French origin. He is known for his landscapes and seascapes. His work was inspired by the paintings of Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rossi.
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Early Life
Claude-Joseph Vernet was born in Avignon, the only son of Antoine Vernet, a decorative painter. He was frequently employed for the painting of carriage panels and building decorations. Therefore, Joseph began drawing and painting early in his life and was more than capable of helping his father with his work
by the time he was in his early teens.
Joseph was familiar with the craftsmen and artisans who worked in the area and began studying with the historical painter Philippe Sauvan. He then moved to Aix-en-Provence to study with the landscape and marine artist Jacques Viali. He received his first commission at the young age of 15 from the Marquise de Simiane, painting landscapes on decorative overdoors.
Rome was the center of the art world in the mid-18th century, and Vernet was most interested in traveling there. Avignon and the surrounding areas at the time were still a Papal territory, and Joseph had established contacts that made it possible for him to move to Rome. Many art patrons, including the Marquis de Caumont, helped in this endeavor.
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Early Career
Vernet arrived in Rome in 1734. This city provided him with the opportunity of studying the Old Masters and more contemporary works. He worked for a brief time with the French marine artist Adrien Manglard.
He also traveled to Naples and began painting the landscapes there and in the southern parts of Rome, eventually settling on painting topographical scenes of the two cities and imaginary landscapes. However, he devoted the best part of his energies to marine painting.
Vernet had soon made contacts within the French community in Rome
and began getting commissions. His earlier papal connections from Avignon also proved useful. He began receiving commissions from high-ranking clergy, including the Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga, both a patron of the arts and a collector.
In 1745, Vernet married Virginia Parker, an Englishwoman he met in Rome. His paintings became quite popular with British tourists on the Grand Tour. He remained in Rome until 1753.
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Mid-Life Developments and Return to France
Vernet’s work was being regularly exhibited at the Salon in Paris, and soon it received the attention of the Royal family. He received a huge commission from Louis XV to paint 16 large-scale paintings of the seaports of France. He worked on this project for the next 12 years, traveling all over the country regularly. He was made a full member of the Academy in 1753, as well.
Unlike other landscape and seascape painters of the time, Vernet made the human figure an intrinsic part of the painting. This was probably because of the influence of the Italian painter, Giovanni Paolo Panini.
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Later Years and Death
Vernet was extremely successful, and his work much sought after. However, the critics began noticing that his work was becoming repetitive from around 1770 onwards, and there was a loss of quality in his paintings
Vernet’s style remained more or less the same throughout his life. His delicate use of light and shade, and idealized landscapes was appreciated and he remained a popular artist. He received regular commissions and carried on exhibiting his works until his death. Art lovers can buy Claude-Joseph Vernet's artworks online.
Vernet died in 1789 in Paris.
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Major Exhibitions
1746 - Paris Salon, Paris
2009 - Portland Art Museum, Oregon
2009 - The Detroit Institute of Arts
2011 - The Wallace Collection, London
2011 - Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium
2013 - Norton Museum of Art, USA
2014 - Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
2014 - NGV International, Australia
Claude-Joseph Vernet's Collections/Museums
Art Institute of Chicago
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Louvre Museum, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
“Claude-Joseph Vernet, 1714-1789” by Greater London Council