Cleopatra’s Arrival at Tara, Claude Lorren, 1642

Description of the picture:

Arrival of Cleopatra in Tara – Claude Lorren. 1642. Oil on canvas. 117×148

   The canvas of the French landscape painter Claude Lorren (1600-1682) is dedicated to the events of distant history. At 40 one BC e. egyptian Queen Cleopatra sailed to the city of Tarsus in order to seduce the beauty of the Roman ruler Mark Anthony and subordinate it to his own power. But the artist’s attention is not focused on the love affairs associated with Cleopatra’s political game, but on the seascape with the golden blinding sun, ships moored off the coast and beautiful building constructions. The figures of people are practically staffa, they are necessary for Lorren to revive this beautiful view.

   The master’s landscapes are informative, they represent mythological or historical actions unfolding against the backdrop of beautiful landscapes. But the plot is always secondary and serves only as a pretext for painting the landscape and a semantic context that guides the viewer in the process of getting to know the canvas.

   Lorren was at the forefront of classicism in Western European painting. One of the first in the world of art, he addressed the dilemma of transmitting a light-air environment. The master watched the lighting for a long time, fixing the discoveries on the gamut and then transferring them to the paintings. This is the secret of truly magical light poured on his canvases."