VERNET, Claude-Joseph
(b. 1714, Avignon, d. 1789, Paris)

A Seashore

Oil on copper, 62 x 85 cm
National Gallery, London

Italian scenery, especially coastal scenery, had a decisive effect on Verne; it became his preferred subject-matter and continued to haunt his art well after his return to France from Italy. Indeed, some of his paintings of the mid 1770s shows as vivid if slightly unlocalized a response to the Italian coast as any painted on the spot. And his views are always enlivened by people, often elegant sightseers and tourists, who are completely of the period; they are not to be dismissed as mere staffage, because there is in them acute, vivid observation of costume and manners - and a liveliness that approximates to wit.