Philip James de Loutherbourg
French (Resident in UK)
Philip James de Loutherbourg Gallery
Philip James de Loutherbourg, also seen as Philippe-Jacques and Philipp Jakob and with the appellation the Younger (31 October 1740 ?C 11 March 1812) was an English artist of French origin.
He was born in Strasbourg, where his father, the representative of a Polish family, practised miniature painting; but he spent the greater part of his life in London, where he was naturalized, and exerted a considerable influence on the scenery of the English stage, as well as on the artists of the following generation. De Loutherbourg was intended for the Lutheran ministry, and was educated at the University of Strasbourg.
As the calling, however, was foreign to his nature, he insisted on being a painter, and placed himself under Charles-Andr?? van Loo in Paris. The result was an immediate and precocious development of his powers, and he became a figure in the fashionable society of that day. In 1767 he was elected into the French Academy below the age required by the law of the institution, and painted landscapes, sea storms, battles, all of which had a celebrity above those of the specialists then working in Paris. His debut was made by the exhibition of twelve pictures, including Storm at Sunset, Night, Morning after Rain.
He is next found travelling in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, distinguishing himself as much by mechanical inventions as by painting. One of these, showing quite new effects produced in a model theatre, was the wonder of the day. The exhibition of lights behind canvas representing the moon and stars, the illusory appearance of running water produced by clear blue sheets of metal and gauze, with loose threads of silver, and so on, were his devices. In 1771 he came to London, and was employed by David Garrick, who offered him £500 a year to apply his inventions to Drury Lane, and to superintend the scene-painting, which he did with complete success, making a new era in the adjuncts of the stage. Garrick's own piece, the Christmas Tale, and the pantomime, 1781-1782, introduced the novelties to the public, and the delight not only of the masses, but of Reynolds and the artists, was unbounded. The green trees gradually became russet, the moon rose and lit the edges of passing clouds, and all the world was captivated by effects we now take little notice of. A still greater triumph awaited him on his opening an entertainment called the Eidophusikon, which showed the rise, progress and result of a storm at sea that which destroyed the great Indiaman, the Halsewell,and the Fallen Angels raising the Palace of Pandemonium. De Loutherbourg has been called the inventor of the panorama, but this honor does not belong to him, although it first appeared about the same time as the eidophusicon. The first panorama was painted and exhibited by Scottish painter Robert Barker.
ID: 2607 An Avalanche in the Alps 1803
Tate Gallery, London