Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vibert’s Gulliver

Jehan-Georges Vibert (1840-1902) was an academic painter who specialized in realistically imagined scenes of court life.

Last spring, Sotheby auction house unveiled a large Vibert painting depicting a scene from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The painting had disappeared from public view for over 100 years.

Vibert visualized the army of the Kingdom of Lilliput with extraordinary attention to individual characterization and costume.

He placed the viewer at the eye level of the Lilliputians, looking upward at the foreshortened giant. The face seems miles away.
Wikipedia Commons, 16 reproductions, link.
Gallery of Paintings by Vibert, link.


TomHart said...

This looks wonderful Jim! What a lost treasure. The image posted (at least on my screen) looks rather dark. Is it? If so, I wonder if it's just in need of a good cleaning - having been lost for so long.

You're right: the atmospheric perspective applied to the head does push it way into the distance.

Thanks for bringing in to our attention.


Shane White said...

Wow...that is what I love about the work people like yourself put into the work, a depth of rich storytelling sold in a convincing way.

Pyle would have loved this guy.


nystudios said...

I have a lot of close up pics of that painting. No offense, but much better than the ones you offer here. If you would like them, please let me know. It was nice to have met you, at the time of the Sotherby's show, at your Society of Illustrators lecture.

James Gurney said...

NYStudios, yes, please, if you have better closeups I'd be grateful for them, and maybe I can replace the one on the post.