The American fleet caught in the storm. Eugene Isabey (1803-1886)
Pair of oils on canvas signed lower right E Isabey in neoclassical giltwood frames. The American fleet caught in the storm on the Atlantic Ocean gives Eugène Isabey the opportunity to offer us this pair of paintings in two variants of the same event. The ocean is treated very differently in each of these two works and the impression that emerges is almost opposite, like a before and an after. For one of them the ocean is really raging; powerful waves roll the partially dismasted three-master. The feeling that the ship has little chance of making it is very heavy. The crew tries to evacuate by launching the last chance boat. The violence of the scene is accentuated by the sinister impression that the sky and the sea are one. For the other, on the contrary, the elements seem to have calmed down; here the sky has taken on this fiery hue from the end of the storm and the horizon line is beginning to emerge. The rest of the American fleet came to the aid of the crew who tried to resist by hanging on as much as possible. Dimensions: Chassis 64.5cm long by 48.7cm - Frame 71.5cm long by 56 high. This ability to deal with the marine element is praised by Isabey's contemporaries: "This dreadful drama is perfectly rendered. The waves do not have this conventional transparency that many painters indifferently give to the sea, whether it is calm or whether it is stormy. You can see that Mr. Isabey knows the seas." (L. Auvray, the Salon of 1865). The reputation of Eugène Isabey (1803-1886) has hardly been eclipsed: the abundance of his work has ensured his posterity without requiring a rehabilitation trial. Son of Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855), the most famous of the miniaturists of the Empire, Eugène knew how to impose his first name with ardor: to the precision and the suave delicacy of one, the other responded by the richness of his palette and the generosity of his touch. As a romantic playwright, Eugène Isabey immediately orchestrated immense shipwreck scenes. At the same time, he borrowed the taste for old costumes from the literature of his time and won great success with collectors thanks to his historical evocations. The Louvre Museum presented during the summer of 2012 an exhibition dedicated to the works of Eugene Isabey appearing in its collection following orders from Napoleon III.
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120 000 €