Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown
Sébastien Bourdon

Landscape with Classical Ruins

Artist

Sébastien Bourdon
Montpellier 1616 – Paris 1671

Title

Landscape with Classical Ruins

Date

About 1635

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

50.2 x 64.5 cm

Credits

Purchase, John W. Tempest Fund, inv. 1953.1083

Collection

Western Art

Bourdon arrived in Rome in 1634 where he responded to a wide range of artists. He produced low-life genre paintings popularized by the Bamboccianti, a group of primarily Dutch painters à la mode. In 1637, denounced as being a Protestant, he returned to Paris. For all its geometric clarity, articulated through the elements of classical architecture, this painting retains a sense of a natural landscape. The subject is an odd assemblage—gypsies, beggars, dog, soldier, lovers, a family, a gentleman — all gathered by a country tavern and fountain, surrounded by ruins. The poetic late afternoon light envelops the entirety of the scene, conveying a sense of pause. Various sources of inspiration are evident in this work such as the Bamboccianti (the young man placing his hand on the breast of the woman seated next to him), Claude’s atmospheric lighting of landscapes and Poussin’s classicism. Yet the subject is not totally fantastic and picturesque. During the Thirty Years War, which torn Europe, large movements of civilian populations were driven from their homes, accompanying the progressions of armies and becoming a prominent aspect of military and economic life.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation