Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Mediterranean World as Viewed or Imagined by French Artists

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes
View of Rome
ca. 1782-84
oil on canvas
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

Claude Monet
Palazzo Dario, Venice
oil on canvas
Art Institute of Chicago

Claude Lorrain
Landscape with an Imaginary View of Tivoli
oil on copper
Courtauld Gallery, London

François de Nomé
Capriccio View of an Italian Piazza with a Royal Procession
before 1647
oil on canvas
private collection

Francisque Millet
The Flight from Troy
before 1679
oil on canvas
Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

Pierre Patel
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
oil on canvas
National Gallery, London

Jean Lemaire
Landscape with Praying Hermit among Ruins
oil on canvas
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Gaspard Dughet
Classical Landscape with a Lake
ca. 1658
oil on canvas
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Jean-Charles-Joseph Rémond
Wounded Philoctetes abandoned on the Isle of Lemnos
oil on canvas
Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Hubert Robert
Man falling from a Ruin
ca. 1780
oil on canvas
Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris

The Murdered Man, or, Remembrance of the Roman Countryside
ca. 1865
oil on canvas
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

Luc-Olivier Merson
The Wolf of Gubbio
oil on canvas
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

"At the time when Saint Francis was living in the city of Gubbio, a large wolf appeared in the neighbourhood, so terrible and fierce, that he not only devoured other animals, but made a prey of men also; and since he often approached the town, all the people were in great alarm, and used to go about armed, as if going to battle.   . . .  Saint Francis, feeling great compassion for the people of Gubbio, resolved to go and meet the wolf, though all advised him not to do so.  . . .  And the saint thus addressed him: 'Brother wolf, thou hast done much evil in this land, destroying and killing the creatures of God without His permission; yea, not animals only hast thou destroyed, but thou hast even dared to devour men, made after the image of God; for which thing thou art worthy of being hanged like a robber and a murderer.  All men cry out against thee, the dogs pursue thee, and all the inhabitants of this city are thy enemies; but I will make peace between them and thee, O brother wolf, if so be thou no more offend them, and they shall forgive thee all thy past offences, and neither men nor dogs shall pursue thee any more."  Having listened to these words, the wolf bowed his head, and, by the movements of his body, his tail, and his eyes, made signs that he agreed to what Saint Francis said.  . . .  Then said Saint Francis, addressing him again: "Brother wolf, I command thee, in the name of Christ, to follow me immediately, without hesitation or doubting, that we may go together to ratify this peace which we have concluded in the name of God"; and the wolf, obeying him, walked by his side as meekly as a lamb, to the great astonishment of the people.   . . .   "Listen my brothers: the wolf who is here before you has promised and pledged his faith that he consents to make peace with you all, and no more offend you in aught, and you must promise to give him each day his necessary food; to which, if you consent, I promise in his name that he will most faithfully observe the compact."  Then all the people promised to feed the wolf to the end of his days."

– excerpted from The Little Flowers of St Francis, translated by Roger Huddleston from the 14th-century Italian  

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Tivoli - The Cascades
oil on paper, mounted on canvas
Musée du Louvre

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Castel Sant'Angelo and the Tiber, Rome
ca. 1826-28
oil on paper, mounted on canvas
Musée du Louvre

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Cave at San Marino
oil on paper
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky