Philip James de Loutherbourg, Cattle

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 24 cm, Overall width: 34 cm
Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)
Catalogue Number


This signed painting is a hitherto unrecorded painting of cattle by the Franco-British painter Philip James de Loutherbourg. Born in Strasbourg, Loutherbourg trained as an artist in Paris. Following travels in Switzerland, Germany and Italy he settled in England in 1771, where he produced paintings for the theatre, as well as devising stage machinery and special effects. A versatile artist, Loutherbourg also painted naval pictures, landscapes and genre paintings, before giving up art in favour of alchemy and pursuit of the supernatural.

Although the painting is unrecorded in the recent catalogue raisonné of Loutherbourg, it is close in style to two paintings which are both dated to the 1780s.1 The present work is, however, much sketchier and may be a study intended for a finished composition.

In the inventory of March 1928, when it hung in the School Room, the picture was described as ‘Group of cows attributed to De Loutherbourg – 10in by 14in’.

by Jonny Yarker


  1. Olivier Lefeuvre, Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, Paris: Arthena, 2012, nos 163 and 164.


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