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Landscape with St Philip baptising the Eunuch

CLAUDE Gellée, Le Lorrain (1600 - 1682)

Landscape with St Philip baptising the Eunuch

Date: 1678

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 88.0 x 142.2 cm

Acquired: 1982; Purchase; with assistance of the Art Fund

Accession Number: NMW A 4

This picture shows an evening landscape with the apostle Philip baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch. Returning in his carriage from Jerusalem to Ethiopia, a court Eunuch met the apostle Philip, who convinced him that the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah had been fulfilled by the life and death of Christ (Acts of the Apostles VII 26-38). The picture and its companion piece Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene on Easter Morning (in Frankfurt) were painted for Cardinal Fabrizio Spada in 1678. St Philip's missionary role paralleled the cardinal's efforts to combat Protestantism. Both pictures depict contrasting times of the day: here early evening, in the other early morning. Although this painting has a story as a subject, it is the landscape that dominates this composition.  Claude settled in Rome where he perfected an idealized style of landscape painting in which nature is carefully ordered.  Claude’s pictures were especially popular in eighteenth-century Britain.  He was admired by the great Welsh landscape painter Richard Wilson.

Comments(2)

David Newland
30 August 2017, 10:50
I'm pleased to say that this exquisite painting is currently on public display. I understand it used to hang at Bretton Hall when it was the Yorkshire family seat of the Wentworth/Beamount/Allendales, until the house and park were sold in the 1940s to West Riding County Council to create Bretton Hall College.
David Brian Armstrong Volunteer Guide
15 March 2014, 20:35
I assume that the site has not been updated recently, as to my knowledge, this picture has not been on show for sometime, which is a great pity as it would have so complemented the Constable exhibition. It's to be hoped that it will be available again for the Wilson Exhibition later in the year.

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