Philip James de Loutherbourg

German / English (1740 - 1812)
Philip James de Loutherbourg The Battle of Alexandria, 21 March 1801 1802


Born 1740
Died 1812
Nationalities German
Birth place Basel
Death place Chiswick

De Loutherbourg was born in Strasbourg, the son of a miniature painter and engraver. He trained in France, specialising in landscape painting, and he was subsequently made painter to Louis XIV. In 1771 he came to England at the invitation of the actor-manager, David Garrick and painted spectacular sets for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. His interest in technical innovation led to the 'Eidophusikon', a precursor of the cinema using transparent images and light effects. He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, to which he was elected in 1781. As well as dramatic landscapes, he produced history paintings and published prints recording his tours of picturesque scenery in England and Wales.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms

History Painting

A term used to refer to images of important or memorable episodes from literary, historical or religious sources. These works are often large-scale and include complex arrangements of figures and objects in a landscape or architectural setting. Historically, it was revered as the highest form of painting.