Adrien Manglard, ‘A Mediterranean harbor with stevedores unloading their ships, figures selling fish in the foreground by a fortress’, Christie's Old Masters

Born in Lyon, where he trained with the figure painter Frère Imbert, Manglard went to Rome in 1715. There, he entered the workshop of the landscape painter Bernadino Fergioni, spending much of his time making studies of boats and ships and developing formidable skills as a marine painter while working beside Fergioni's other successful pupils, Paolo Anesi and Andrea Locatelli. His skill as a marine painter was such that his career advanced rapidly: prestigious clients included Victor Amedeus II, Duke of Savoy, who bought a pair of paintings from him in 1726 (Galleria Sabauda, Turin), Philip, Duke of Parma, who acquired companion paintings from him in 1759 (Palazzo Ducale, Colorno), and the Rospigliosi family in Rome for whom he produced a number of pictures. Manglard also achieved considerable academic success: agrée at the Académie Royale in Paris in 1734, where he became a full member two years later; accepted into the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1735; membership in the Virtuosi al Pantheon in 1741.

Manglard worked almost his entire career in Rome as a painter of landscapes, vedute and, especially, seascapes, such as the present Mediterranean harbor scene. Evident in the painting is his careful, life-long study of ships and his interest in colorfully dressed foreign and exotic figures, which he drew from his youth, collecting his studies in albums now in the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. His fascination with seaports and his skill at accommodating Northern realism with the classicism of Claude Lorrain were qualities he would transmit to his greatest student, Claude-Joseph Vernet.

The present painting is a mature work, dated by Busiri-Vici and Maddalo to the later 1750s, and made shortly after Manglard published 44 plates of engravings after his own paintings (1753-1754). Two similarly composed harbor scenes by Manglard can be found in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge (inv.179), and in the Palazzo Boncompagni-Ludovisi in Rome (see Maddalo, op.cit., pp. 107-108, ill.), and they certainly date from the same period.

A. Busiri-Vici, Andrea Locatelli e il paesaggio romano del settecento, Rome, 1976, p. 74, fig. 92.

S. Maddalo, Adrien Manglard (1695-1760), Rome, 1982, p. 102, no. 10, illustrated.

PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR

Art market, early 1970s.

Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 8 December 2004, lot 47 (£110,000).

About Adrien Manglard

French, 1695-1760, Lyon, France, based in Rome, Italy