Tempetes et naufrages visuel
19 May
12 September

Storms and Shipwrecks

From Vernet to Courbet
The Museum of Romantic Life invites you to discover a fascinating iconic theme from the first half of the 19th century and one of the most powerful sources of Romanticist inspiration: storms and shipwrecks.

Through a selection of around sixty works - paintings, drawings, engravings and manuscripts - by over 30 artists from the 18th and 19th centuries, this exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through a vibrant, illustrated narration of a storm at sea, from the unleashing of the elements up to the often-dramatic consequences of the ship’s sinking and loss before the weather calms down on sea and land.


Sea landscapes as a reflection of the Romanticist soul

The aim of this exhibition is to extend the museum’s programme beyond its collections focusing on life in Parisian “salons” by exploring the pictorial diversity of Romanticism, highlighting this new view of nature and sea landscapes as a reflection of the Romanticist soul.

The incommensurate violence of the sea echoes the internal torments of the artists who use the gusts of wind, threatening clouds, waves breaking on the reefs, ships struggling as they sink and people in danger to create really wonderful, dramatic scenes. This genuine staging of the raging elements also reveals a whole array of heightened feelings such as terror, courage or admiration before the power and beauty of nature.


A dialogue between the arts

The original scenography organises the route into three sections: The sources of storm representation - The scene of the storm at sea, at the heart of Romanticism - After the storm: wrecks and shipwrecked people.

The paintings and drawings by Joseph Vernet, Théodore Géricault, Théodore Gudin, Eugène Isabey, Eugène Boudin or Gustave Courbet are echoed in the tempestuous writings, placed next to them, of Denis Diderot, Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Alphonse de Lamartine, Victor Hugo and Jules Michelet and the musical creations of Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt or Richard Wagner.


An immersive route

Sound broadcasts echoing the exhibited works complete the route. Visitors will discover great literary works on the theme of storms through the voice of Guillaume Gallienne from the Comédie-Française, and musical items selected by the Médiathèque musicale de Paris (Paris Sound Library).
Listen to the sound track

Alongside this exhibition there is also a rich cultural programme of animations and mediation activities such as an olfactive journey with narration, a special children’s route, guided tours and themed workshops inviting the pubic of the Museum of the Romantic Life to explore this terrifying but magnificient imaginary world of the storm.


Exhibition Commissioner 

Gaëlle Rio, Director of the Museum of the Romantic Life




Full price: 9 €
Reduced rate: 7 €

To guarantee your visit, it is advisable to book a time-stamped ticket on line in the light of the exhibition’s popularity and the restrictions on access to museums.

Public et Horaire

  • Enfant / Adolescent
  • Famille
  • Adulte
Les horaires en détail


Musée de la Vie romantique

16, rue Chaptal
75009 Paris

Infos Pratiques

Horaires de l'exposition

Musée de la Vie romantique
Hotel Scheffer-Renan
16, rue Chaptal
75009 Paris

Opening hours
10 am to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays and some public holidays.




  • Enfant / Adolescent
  • Famille
  • Adulte
CP tempetes et naufrages
Tempetes et naufrages visuel

Théodore Gudin (1802-1880), Tempête sur les côtes de Belle-Île, 1851, Huile sur toile, 132 x 203 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper - © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper

Musée de la Vie romantique - Communiqué de presse - 642.34 KB