Monday, July 5, 2010

The Trojan Women Set Fire to their Fleet

The Metropolitan Museum is a pretty exhausting experience.   Almost every visit, though, reveals a treasure somehow missed in previous tours.

Claude Lorrain's "The Trojan Women Set Fire to their Fleet" is one such standout.  It's dated ca. 1643 and seems several generations ahead of it's time in composition and perspective.  While historical paintings were not unheard of in the 17th Century, they didn't yet have the popularity they would find 200 years later after the advent of Jacques-Louis David and the Revolutionary era.

There's something especially moving about this painting.  Great perspective, yes, masterful technique moreover an interesting moment to depict.

If you recall your AP Latin class, Virgil tells how the women of Troy -sick of the never ending war -decide to set fire to their own ships to hasten it's end (even if it means the fall of their own state).  The gods, of course, stir up a storm to extinguish the fire.  The blood lust of deities is not so easily quenched.

This is a video taken with the phone, so excuse the quality.  It's also a kind of technique test for some other projects we're working on.

The YouTube compression makes the phone look even worse...

Great waves.

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