One of the subjects I’m absolutely compelled by these days and, in fact, have been for the last couple of years, is researching the phenomenally fascinating 18th-century painter, stage designer and sorcerer Philip James de Loutherbourg, also known as Phillippe Jacques de Loutherbourg. I’ve been researching and writing about him for the last couple of years – there is a section of a chapter of my new book Between Realism and the Sublime which is dedicated to Loutherbourg – but now I am giving him my full attention
That’s why I’m really happy to be able to invite you to hear me give a talk about Loutherbourg and what he got up to in Hammersmith. Hammersmith is a beautiful part of West London where from the 18th century on quite a lot of artists lived as it’s right on the river so it’s not quite in the city but it’s not as far away as the countryside. The house Loutherbourg lived in (above) is currently known as Emery Walker house because in the century following the printmaker and innovative typographer Emery Walker live there; he was a close associate of William Morris and a member of the arts and crafts movement. The house is almost completely untouched since he passed away so it’s an incredible time capsule . Little remains there of Loutherbourg himself but certainly ,when you stand in the room which was his studio and look out over the river you are seeing more or less the same thing that Loutherbourg looked at.
I’m going to talk about the events that led up to Loutherbourg and his wife Lucy moving to Hammersmith, the faith healing clinic that he ran there and the trouble he got into as a result and how he transformed his career from being predominantly known as a landscape painter to a history painter – and latterly a painter of fantastical spiritualist and phantasmagorical images. it’s a fascinating history, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it
Watch the Talk on YouTube
I did another talk on Loutherbourg a while ago – this one is a podcast for The Secret History of Western Esotericism It was much fun to do – enjoy:
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