The Trojan Women Setting Fire to Their Fleet

Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée) French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 623

Claude Lorrain’s luminous skies and atmospheric effects are milestones in European landscape painting. Like his contemporary Nicolas Poussin, Claude viewed landscape through a classical lens: he represented the women of Troy setting fire to their ships to end years of wandering after their city was seized by the Greeks. Distant clouds and rain presage the storm sent by Jupiter at Aeneas’s request to quench the blaze. The subject must have particularly appealed to the man who commissioned it. Cardinal Girolamo Farnese was a prelate who returned to Rome in 1643 after years of itinerant service combating Protestantism on the pope’s behalf in present-day Switzerland.

#5107. The Trojan Women Setting Fire to Their Fleet

The Trojan Women Setting Fire to Their Fleet, Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée) (French, Chamagne 1604/5?–1682 Rome), Oil on canvas

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