Philipp Jakob De Loutherbourg was known as a landscape and history painter. He was born in Basel in 1740, but received his entire training in France, and he was the son and pupil of miniature artist J P De Loutherbourg I. He studied under Tischbein, Carl van Loo and Casanova.
In 1768, he was ordained as a member of the Academie Royale, and later as painter to the King of France. In 1771, he left France to settle in London; and was most notably commissioned by Garrick to provide the designs for Drury Lane, where he revolutionised stage scenery in England.
In 1780, he was named an associate of the Royal Academy, and as an RA the following year. He worked with Cagliostro and accompanied him to Switzerland in 1787. In England, De Loutherbourg strengthened his status as a military painter, and painted many victory scenes of various English armies, particularly of those fought at sea. In 1807 he became historical painter to the Duke of Gloucester.
His output of landscapes was extremely varied and influential, ranging from English rural scenes in the manner of Moreland, as in the Midsummer Afternoon with a Methodist Preacher, now in the collection of the National Gallery, Ottawa, Canada. Some of his later landscapes are scenes of violence in nature, such as Crossing the Bar. His paintings can be seen in the collections of the National Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He died in Chiswick in 1812.
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