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Belle Isle, Windermere, in a Storm

Philip James de Loutherbourg1785

Lakeland Arts - Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum

Lakeland Arts - Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum

This painting is the earlier of the two by De Loutherbourg exhibited here. As a pair, they are probably the two most important Romantic depictions of the Lake District, painted at the height of the Picturesque movement. De Loutherbourg, often thought of as the master of dramatic effects, successfully evokes storm clouds and tumultuous waves.

The focus of the painting is the imminent shipwreck which derives from the local folk memory of ‘The Mournefull Marriage’, when forty-seven people and eleven horses, comprising a wedding party, were drowned as a sudden storm at sunset sank the Windermere ferry on 19 October 1635.

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