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Jean Lemaire

Roman Senators and Legates


Jean Lemaire
Dammartin-en-Goële, France, 1601 – Gaillon, France, 1659


Roman Senators and Legates


About 1645-1655


Oil on canvas


101.6 x 148.9 cm


Gift of Lord Strathcona and family, inv. 1927.313


Western Art

Lemaire established a successful career in Rome, specializing in imaginary scenes of antiquity. In 1638 he returned to France, where he executed many paintings, set designs and murals for a prestigious clientele. In this painting, He creates an idealized city from an assemblage of scattered Antique monuments. His patrons would have delighted in recognizing these far-flung buildings, united in the inspiration of the artist. In addition to the Colosseum in the right background, the artist has brought together the Triumphal Arch at Orange, the portico of the Pantheon in Rome, one of Verona’s town gates (the Porta dei Leoni), and the Septizonium (a late Imperial Roman seven-storey structure with colonnades). The sculpture of a river god in the left foreground derives from the colossal figure of the Nile on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, and the reliefs decorating its base derive from the Forum of Trajan.

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