Eugene Isabey “Smugglers Cove”
A classic oil on canvas showing a group of smugglers pulling in their cache of wooden barrels which was dropped off in the sea from a galleon off a secluded mountainous cove behind a broody dusk sky. The painting is by Louis Gabriel Eugene Iasbey ( 1806-1883) a french 19 century artist of some renown and whose work hangs in such esteemed institutions as the Hermitage in St Petersberg and in the National Gallery in London. There is even a portrait of the artist painted by somebody else hanging in the Louvre.
Eugene’s father was Jean baptist Isabey, a well known painter who enjoyed the patronage of Tsarist Russia. Originally, Eugene resisted following in his father’s footsteps and wanted to be a sailor, but his father insisted that he study painting; a turnabout from the usual situation where the family opposes an artistic career in favor of something more practical.
After studying with his father and copying the old masters at the Louvre, he began sharing a studio with the landscape painter, Xavier Leprince (1799-1826) at Honfleur, in 1824. Three years later and with enough experience under his belt, Eugene exhibited in the Paris Art Salon.