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Eugène Isabey

The Burial at Sea of a Marine Officer Serving under Louis XVI

Artist

Eugène Isabey
Paris 1803 – Montévrain, France, 1886

Title

The Burial at Sea of a Marine Officer Serving under Louis XVI

Date

1836

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

243.5 x 166 cm

Credits

Purchase, Adrienne D'Amours Pineau and René Pineau Memorial Fund, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association Fund and the Leacross Foundation Fund, inv. 2013.70

Collection

Western Art

Eugène Isabey dreamed of becoming a sailor. Refusing to relinquish his passion, he specialized in marine painting. Inspired by English painters, notably John Constable and J.M.W. Turner, this Romantic artist painted the ocean in all its moods. A perfectionist, he attended to every detail and enthusiastically embraced innovations in naval construction. “Isabey is the only painter capable of building a boat,” said Johan Barthold Jongkind, one of his students. Exhibited in the Salon of 1836, The Burial at Sea of a Marine Officer Serving under Louis XVI elicited surprise. The subject is impressive: the stormy sky, the rough sea, the sails flapping in the wind and the body, enveloped in a white shroud, thrown into the sea at the sound of the cannon, marking the absolution of a marine officer whose identity remains unknown.

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