Like today’s storm chasers who run toward danger, the people in these paintings from more than 200 years ago risked personal safety to explore the unknown or encounter nature at its fiercest. Some were driven by scientific interest, others by a desire to experience the sublime a kind of pleasurable terror at the immensity and turbulence of the natural world. Mount Vesuvius, in southwestern Italy, erupted several times in the late 18th century. Its breathtaking but deadly light show attracted visitors from all over Europe, including the painter Pierre Jacques Volaire, who made the subject a personal specialty. Closer to our home in the Pacific Northwest, French sailors on a global expedition were trying to map uncharted Alaskan territory in July 1786 when a sudden change in the current flooded their boats and drowned 21 men. The painting of this tragic episode, commissioned by the brother of two of the doomed men and owned by the family until now, is a new acquisition for the Seattle Art Museum.
Location: Seattle Art Museum - Fourth Floor Galleries
$19.95 - Adults
$17.95 - Seniors (65+)
$17.95 - Military (With ID)
$12.95 - Students (With ID)
$12.95 - Teens (13–19)
Free - Children 12 and Under And SAM Members