HILL, J. after Philippe Jacques LOUTHERBOURG
Ramsgate, with a View of the new Light-House
London: Published by I. & W. Macgavin, No. 107 New Bond Street, Oct. 1, 1808. Coloured aquatint. Printed on wove paper. In excellent condition with the exception of a small brown mark in the lower left corner of plate. Slight creasing through center of image. Image size: 13 1/2 x 20 inches. Sheet size: 18 3/8 x 24 3/8 inches. Plate mark: 15 1/4 x 20 inches.
A pretty view of Ramsgate Pier, from Philippe Loutherbourg's great work "Picturesque Scenery of Great Britain."
This impressive aquatint is plate two of Phillip Jacques Loutherbourg's seminal work "Picturesque Scenery of Great Britain." This accomplished text is comprised of six large aquatint views engraved after Loutherbourg's acclaimed paintings. The work, which was first engraved in 1801 by J. C. Stadler, was later re-engraved in 1808 by J. Hill. Reminiscent of Rowlandson's superb paintings, this image depicts the stormy docks of Ramsgate pier. While a group of hardy sailors converse at ease, a party of three figures are battered by the fierce winds that beat the shoreline. The son of a court painter in Darmstadt, the versatile artist Philippe Jacques Loutherbourg was born in Fulda, Germany and was a pupil of J. H. Tischbein and Carle Vanloo and Francis Casanova the elder in Paris. His romantic landscapes, battle scenes, portraits, and biblical subjects were highly esteemed and lauded by influential colleagues such as Diderot. He frequently exhibited at the Salon and became a venerated member of the Académie Royale in 1767. In 1771, he moved to England, where he was employed as the principal scenery designer at London's Drury Lane Theatre. His creative and minutely detailed sets revolutionized the genre of scene painting, and he soon began dabbling in costume design. Loutherbourg once again astounded contemporaries in 1782 with his pioneering invention of the "Eidophusikon," a novel variety of moving panorama that was accompanied by music. His substantial and varied oeuvre also included book illustrations and a series of aquatints of British scenery that was published in 1801 and 1805. Aside from a brief trip to Switzerland in 1782, he remained in London for the duration of his life and became heavily engrossed in mysticism.
Abbey, Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland, in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860, no.6, plate 2.