Description of the picture:
Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille – Rubens. 1622-1625. Canvas, oil. 394×295 cm
In one thousand 600 20 two years, Rubens received an order from Maria Medici to write a whole series of paintings consisting of 20 single canvases and reflecting the main milestones of her life. One of the brightest paintings of the cycle is “The Arrival of Maria Medici to Marseille”.
The base of the plot is that memorable day when the foot of the future queen stepped on the French for the first time. This is not to say that this fact was surrounded by a certain halo of fame and magnificent honors, although Maria arrived on a wonderful sparkling ship, accompanied by 3 fleets and brought with her seven thousand Italians, who were now destined to live in France, but the painter managed to transform her Arrival in a real extravaganza, lush rite.
The heroine herself is surrounded by so many brightest characters that against their background you can not immediately see her. At first, the eye stops at the naked sirens, located at the bottom of the picture. Next to them we see Neptune and Triton. Over the head of the newest queen, the glory flying in the sky trumpets the arrival.
Maria coming down from the ship is greeted with outstretched arms, two characters personifying all of France and Marseille namely.
The entire Rubens cycle about Maria Medici was of great political importance – the queen had just returned from exile, having finally made up with her offspring, King Louis XIII, and the paintings were supposed to help strengthen the situation and regain her reputation at court. Creating the image of the queen, Rubens managed to exalt him, give regal grandeur and weightily transform the non-individual fate of Maria Medici."