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Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg

Born: Strasbourg , 31 October 1740
Died: London, 11 March 1812
Nationality: Alsatian

son of Philipp Jakob, an engraver and miniature painter at the court of Darmstadt


with Carle Vanloo, Francesco Casanova, and at Jean-Georges Wille’s engraving academy in Paris (c. 1755)


1763 - 1771 – exhibits regularly at Paris Salon

1766 – elected member of  Académie Royale; nominated Peintre du Roi (Painter to the King)

1771 – hired as chief scene designer at Drury Lane theatre, London

1781 – elected member of Royal Academy, London; develops Eidophusikon (miniature theatre that creates an illusion of motion)

1786 – visits Switzerland with the mystic Count Cagliostro; begins practice as faith-healer

1789 – publishes unpopular tract, A List of a Few Cures Performed by Mr and Mrs de Loutherbourg of Hammersmith Terrace, without Medicine; ceases work as a faith-healer

1790s – contributes history paintings to Thomas Macklin’s Poets Gallery and Robert Bowyer’s Historic Gallery.

1801 – publishes collection of engravings, The Picturesque Scenery of Great Britain

1805 – publishes engravings collection The Picturesque and Romantic Scenery of England and Wales

1807 – appointed Historical Painter to William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester


Paris (1755-68); Italy, Germany and Switzerland (1768-71); London (1771-1812); Switzerland (1786)

Commissions from: 

William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester; Thomas Macklin; Drury Lane theatre (David Garrick and Richard Brinsley Sheridan)

Important Artworks: 

Falls of the Rhine at Schaffhausen, 1788 RA exhibition (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

The Deluge, 1790 Poets Gallery exhibition (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Battle of the Nile, 1800 (Tate, London)