Our classical seascape with French sailing boats off the coast was executed by renown French marine painter Philippe Tanneur (1795 - 1878). The son of cannoneer, Philippe Tanner born in Marseille in the Fort Saint-Jean in 1795 and began an adventurous life: at first he became a pirate but after a foot injury he renounces to enter this career as a musician in the body of customs. He then worked in a cooperage and createsin the district Catalans a small workshop-painter. The sign of his shop on which he painted a view of the Catalans drew the attention of influential people who persuaded him to move to Paris where he was introduced to the Duchess of Berry, who admitted him to the studio of Vernet. He exhibited at the Salon regulary from 1827 to 1868, in 1829 he exhibited "The Remembrance V¨¦ronne boat and taking land by a fresh breeze", which met with great success, following which he was appointed by Charles X to accompany the expeditionary force of Algiers to paint the landing of troops. In 1834 he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor. His talent earned him other protections, those of Louis-Philippe or Tsar Nicolas I,but his character the lost him one after the other. French painter of marine species, originally studied under the direction Of O. Bern and wrote landscapes with a historical Staffordshire. He enjoyed significant fame in 1830 and 1840, as a worthy rival of Theodor Gudin and Mosen, the best of the then-high-level French marinists. Tanneur has traveled the fatherland in all directions, has visited Italy and, having received in 1835 from Emperor Nicholas I the order to depict the most important Russian military ports, has spent twenty years in Russia. At this time, his pupil in the Academy in St.Petersburg was Russian futured most famous marine painter I. K. Ayvazovsky.
Tanner executed a lot of paintings, but they were all soon spoiled by the abundant use of paints-varnishes, especially asphalt. In this corruption, mainly, the reason that Tanner's name is now almost forgotten. Several of his marine species are located in Grand Palace in Peterhof by St.Petersburg.
In early 1835, at the invitation of Nicholas I came fashionable French marine painter Philippe Tanneur to St. Petersburg to perform the highest orders to paint Russian military ports. Academic student Ayvazovsky was determined to help him. The capable pupil quickly grasped techniques of the French maestro and, aspiring to create independently, has written to an academic exhibition a picture "A study of air over the sea". For this work Ayvazovsky received a silver medal, which almost became the end of his so brilliantly started artistic career. Offended by the disloyalty of his assistant, Tanner complained to the emperor, saying enough that the tsar payed his attention to a talented student. The artist hit the Imperial wrath by a navette. But everything was done without extreme measures. Perhaps the intercession of influential representatives of the cultural elite of St. Petersburg – Zhukovsky, Krylov, professors of the Academy, who immediately estimated the degree of talent of the novice marine, helped.
Because of his bad temper and intrigues opened to the tsar, Tanneur was expelled from Russia after 20 years of work at the Academy., him was given 24 hours to leave the city of St. Petersburg. While he goes to America with his family, his boat "Humboldt" wasc wrecked in 1855 in Halifax, almost all the passengers were saved, and the artist painted a canvas of this naufrage.
Works in museums: Paris (Luxembourg museum ); Nantes,Compi¨¨gne, La Rochele, Milan (Brera); Museum of Fine Arts in Marseille: The squadron bringing the body of Admiral Bruat and view the harbor entrance Marseille; St.Petersburg, castle Peterhof, Views of Russian sea ports.
Here is short biography of Tanneur in Russian from archive.ru:
Таннер Филипп (Philippe Tanneur, 1795−1878) - французский живописец морских пейзажей. Полученный в 1835 году от императора Николая I по заказу изображать важнейшие русские военные порты, провел двадцать лет в России. В это время его учеником был Иван Айвазовский. Таннер был плодовитым автором, но его картины быстро испортились из-за чрезмерного использования лаковых масляных красок. Поэтому сохранились немногие его работы, одна из них находится в царском дворце в Петергофе.
Literature: in German: Thieme/Becker "Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden K¨¹nstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart"; in French: E.Benezit "Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs",Gr¨¹nd, 1999; in Russian: on-line Art lexicon on http://aivazovski.ru/Article " Царская немилость”
Inscription: signed lower right and lower left.
Technique: oil on wood. Luxuriousy original period gold-plated frame.
Measurements: h. 30 7/8 " x 23 1/4" ( 78,5 x 59 cm), w. 37 1/3 " x 29 1/2" ( 95 x 75 cm ).
Condition: in very good condition.