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