Family of French painters, three members of which attained distinction. Claude-Joseph Vernet (b Avignon, 14 Aug. 1714; d Paris, 3 Dec. 1789) was one of the leading French landscape painters of his period. From 1734 to 1753 he worked in Rome, where he was influenced by the light and atmosphere of Claude and also by the more wild and dramatic art of Salvator Rosa. With Hubert Robert, he became a leading exponent of a type of idealized and somewhat sentimental landscape that had a great vogue at this time. Vernet was particularly celebrated for his paintings of the seashore and seaports, and on returning to Paris in 1753 he was commissioned by Louis XV to paint a series of the seaports of France. He produced fifteen (more were planned but not executed), now divided between the Louvre and the Musée Maritime, Paris.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)