(b. 1604, Chamagne, d. 1682, Roma)

Seaport with the Campidoglio

Oil n canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Claude Lorrain arrived in Rome probably in 1617. After his first, youthful works, his style matured, and he began his Ports series. However, he painted only one port with the Capitoline. This work was thus a pictorial reverie in which the Capitoline - and all it represents - became part of an imaginary maritime scene. Nevertheless, the painted architecture is unquestionably the Capitoline and not one of vaguely classicising Palladian or Raphaelesque images found on so many canvases of the era. Claude chose that structure as an unmistakable sign of the centrality of Rome 'caput mundi', a city that is also the heart of Christianity.

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