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Rubens’s Great Landscape with a Tempest

Anatomy of a Masterpiece

1st Edition

Featuring Jupiter, Mercury, Philemon, and Baucis, Great Landscape with a Tempest is one of Peter Paul Rubens’s largest and most dramatic landscapes. The painting shows a stream that has flooded fields and broken trees after a storm, decimating the landscape in spite of the clearing skies and beginnings of a rainbow appearing in the corner. The storm occurred due to the wrath of Jupiter and Mercury, who came to earth and were only offered hospitality by Philemon and Baucis, thus ensuring their rescued from the punishment of the floods. This painting, evidently produced for pleasure, remained in Rubens’s possession until his death.

Exploring from the far-reaching discoveries made about the painting during the latest restoration, Rubens’s Great Landscape with a Tempest offers comprehensive insight into Rubens’s working method, the creation process of this fascinating picture, and the painting’s art-historical interpretation. The most recent restoration revealed that Rubens changed the painting several times, only adding the story of Philemon and Baucis at the end. Along with the complex composition and creation of the painting, the book discusses the restoration procedures and the work’s classification in art history. The editors also bring to light considerations of Rubens’s portrayal of nature and the outstanding position of Great Landscape with a Tempest in European landscape painting.

​Including one hundred color images of the painting and its restoration, Rubens’s Great Landscape with a Tempest is a fascinating, detailed look at a great masterpiece.

200 pages | 170 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 | © 2019

Art: Art--General Studies

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