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History of Art series

FHS Sloane Square's Head of History of Art has started an Art History series. Here, she discusses Claude Lorrain's Aeneas at Delos
31 Mar 2020
School News
Claude Lorrain, Aeneas at Delos,
Claude Lorrain, Aeneas at Delos,
Head of History of Art, Sarah Carr Gomm (Cargs), is posting Art History articles to FHS staff during the lockdown period that we thought our alumni community would enjoy. Her first communication, sent last week, is a discussion about Claude Lorrain's, Aeneas at Delos, which is on display at National Gallery London.

Says Cargs: "I am so grateful for all the assemblies, singing, reading, workouts and different ways of communicating and I wondered if you'd like a beautiful painting to look at.
Claude's serene landscape shows part of the epic journey that Aeneas, dressed here in orange, took with his father and son from Troy to Rome. On the way, they stopped to consult the oracle on the island of Delos, which was sacred to Apollo, and Aeneas is being shown the site where the god was born with his twin sister, Diana, represented by the odd pairing of an olive and palm tree in the centre of the composition. The terrible stick men suggest that Claude wasn't very interested in painting figures but their story takes us to the age of classical myths and heroic legends that were set in an idyllic world. He paints a tranquil scene: a mother and child idly walk across a stream towards a shepherd and his flock, ships are safely in harbour, a noble temple marks the middle ground and we are lead across the bay to mountains in the far distance. Everything is in order and all is calm.
Claude was a French artist working in Rome and the English, on their Grand Tour to Italy in the 18th century, loved his landscapes and bought them as reminders of their trip. This painting is now in the National Gallery so we can see it once this vicious virus is through. 
Claude Lorrain, Aeneas at Delos, 1672, 99 x 134 cm, oil on canvas, National Gallery London."

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