went to great lengths to gain real-life experience from which to render
his subjects. He was reputed to have had himself
bound to a ships mast during a storm so that he could experience a
storm at sea. His grandson painted this episode.
A colleague wrote:
Vernet was sure to be on the beech [sic]; where he often prevailed on the watermen to put to sea, even during the heaviest storms, in a small open boat. By these means his mind becomes familiar to horrors, and his pencil capable of embodying...the elements in all their sublimity and grandeur.