A Calm at a Mediterranean Port

Object Details

Title:

A Calm at a Mediterranean Port

Artist/Maker(s):

Claude-Joseph Vernet (French, 1714 - 1789)

Culture:

French

Date:

1770

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

113 x 145.7 cm (44 1/2 x 57 3/8 in.)

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In brilliant detail, Claude-Joseph Vernet captured the gorgeous weather and leisurely activities of a day by the sea. Fishermen clean the day's catch on a stone pier while several people chat nearby, one of them pointing toward the large ship in the bay. Meanwhile, a man sits and smokes his pipe, the tobacco glowing a bright red. A cumulus cloud, perhaps the remnant of a distant storm, towers to the left of the setting sun. Warm tones of yellow, orange and red predominate, suggesting a hazy sunset after a bright day.

In A Calm, Vernet portrayed a completely peaceful scene in striking contrast to its pendant, A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast. Taken together, the two works show, on the one hand, nature's benevolence, and on the other, nature's fury.

Provenance
1767 - 1779

Thomas King, fifth baron King, 1712 - 1779 (Ockham Park, Ripley, Surrey, England), commissioned from the artist, about 1767.

1779 - 1793

Peter King, sixth baron King, 1736 - 1793 (Ockham Park, Ripley, Surrey, England), by inheritance to Peter King, 1793.

1793 - 1833

Peter King, seventh baron King, 1775 - 1833 (Ockham Park, Ripley, Surrey, England), by inheritance to William King-Noel, 1833.

1833 - 1893

William King-Noel, first earl of Lovelace, died 1893 (Ockham Park, Ripley, Surrey, England), by inheritance to Ralph Gordon Noel King-Milbanke, 1893.

1893 - 1906

Ralph Gordon Noel King-Milbanke, second earl of Lovelace, died 1906 (Horsley Towers, Surrey, England), by inheritance to his half-brother, Lionel Fortescue King, 1906.

1906 - 1929

Lionel Fortescue King, third earl of Lovelace, died 1929 (Horsley Towers, Surrey, England), by inheritance to Peter Malcolm King, 1929.

1929 -

Peter Malcolm King, fourth earl of Lovelace (possibly Whitwell Hatch, Haselmere or Horsley Towers, Surrey, England) [Sotheby's, London. July 13, 1937, lot 114 (unsold).], by inheritance to his wife, Manon, countess of Lovelace.

- 1990

Manon, countess of Lovelace, died 1990, upon her death, held in trust by the estate.

1990 - 1993

Estate of Manon, countess of Lovelace, died 1990 [sold, Christie's, London, December 10, 1993, lot 55, to Richard Green Gallery]

1993 - 1994

Richard Green Gallery (London, England), sold to a private collector, 1994.

1994 - late 1990s

Private Collection (Paris, France)

by late 1990s

Richard Green Gallery (London, England), sold to a private collector.

Private Collection (London, England)

2002

Richard Green Gallery (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002.

Exhibitions
Autour de Claude-Joseph Vernet: La marine à voile de 1650 à 1890 (July to October, 1999) (Cat. 26; as "Port méditerranéen, temps calme, coucher de soleil")
  • Musée des beaux-arts (Rouen), July to October, 1999
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

And Then What Happened?

Lesson in which students identify nouns, verbs, and adjectives in landscape paintings, write narratives, and paint landscapes.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

3-5

Two-Part Lesson

Language through Art (Beginning)

Lesson in which students study artwork related to exterior spaces, using vocabulary, adjectives, declarative/imperative sentences to describe weather.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

K-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12; Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: A Calm at a Mediteranean Port / A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast