An Avalanche in the Alps

Phillip James De Loutherbourg1803

Tate Britain

Tate Britain
London, United Kingdom

The Alps were a familiar landscape for generations of British travellers, but it was only in the later part of the eighteenth century that their rugged and immense qualities were appreciated for their Sublime associations. Here de Loutherbourg, who specialised in such landscapes, adds human drama to the avalanche's awesome progress via the terrified people (foreground) soon to be overwhelmed by nature's power. De Loutherbourg's exploration of sublime effect was assisted by his work as a theatre set designer. He also created the 'Eidophusikon', a miniature theatre where landscapes were animated and accompanied by music and sound effects.


  • Title: An Avalanche in the Alps
  • Creator: Phillip James De Loutherbourg
  • Date Created: 1803
  • Provenance: Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1965
  • Physical Dimensions: w160 x h1099 mm
  • Original Title: An Avalanche in the Alps
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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