Philip James De Loutherbourg (Philip James De Loutherbourg)

Philip James De Loutherbourg

Painter, Stage Designer. He was born and trained in France, initially by his father, a miniature painter and engraver to the court of Darmstadt. In 1766 he was elected to the French Royal Academy and made Royal Painter to Louis XVI, but in 1771 he traveled to London in search of commissions and to escape marital difficulties. He remained in England for the rest of his life, becoming an important figure in the evolution of British landscape painting. Loutherbourg’s best-known work was creating scenery for David Garrick’s theater in Drury Lane. His innovative practices gained him an international reputation as a stage designer, and in 1781 he built his “Eidophusikon,” or mechanical theater, using three-dimensional sets, lighting, and sound effects to represent shipwrecks and natural wonders, such as Niagara Falls. His last major theater project was the scenery for the spectacular pantomime “Omai; or, a Trip Around the World,” based on Cook’s voyages, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1785. Working for the theater did not prevent him from painting. His finest work was the “Destruction of the Armada.” He also painted the “Great Fire of London” and several historical canvases. In 1781 he was made a member of the Royal Academy. Much of his later years were spent under the patronage of Count de Cagliostro. (bio by: julia&keld)


  • October, 31, 1740


  • March, 03, 1812


  • Old Chiswick Cemetery
  • England

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