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A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas
Claude-Joseph Vernet

'Storm on a Coast' is a sensational storm and shipwreck scene depicting lashing rain, ships tossed on the sea and survivors scrambling to safety. Like 'Landscape at Sunset', the effects of light create visual drama in the contrast between the darkness of the sea and the sun breaking through the storm clouds.

Vernet was renowned for pairs of paintings showing contrasting states of nature and his works were especially sought-after by British collectors in the 18th-century. This painting and its pendant, 'A Landscape at Sunset' are now the only such pair to be found in a British public collection. The pair originally belonged to the celebrated Englishman Clive of India, who bought them from Vernet in 1773. They are acknowledged as being two of Vernet's greatest marine pictures.

Key facts
Artist Claude-Joseph Vernet
Artist dates 1714 - 1789
Full title A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas ('Tempête')
Group Two Landscapes: A Sunset and a Storm
Date made 1773
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 114.5 x 163.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Acquired with a donation from the American Friends of the National Gallery, London, made possible by a gift from David H. Koch, 2004
Inventory number NG6601
Location in Gallery Not on display
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Two Landscapes: A Sunset and a Storm

These two paintings were made as pendants, or companion pieces, and would have hung next to each other.