Description of Claude Lorren’s painting “The Abduction of Europe”

Description of Claude Lorren’s painting “The Abduction of Europe”

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1655, Location - exposition of the State Pushkin Museum, Moscow.

The plot of the picture was taken by the author from Greek mythology: once the great Zeus saw a beautiful Europe - the daughter of the king of Phenicia. Having decided to kidnap the girl, the thunderer takes the form of a white bull and joins the herd grazing on the shore. Seeing no danger, Europe sits on his back, and the bull carries a rider to the sea. There is no end to the story in the picture, but the finale of their journey is not important to the author of the canvas - his attention is completely absorbed by work on the pastoral part of the canvas.

No wonder the painter became famous as an outstanding master of landscape - in the painting the central role is assigned to nature, an expressive landscape in the style of Renaissance artists. Almost the entire space of the canvas is reserved for the sea, sky, hills.

A herd grazing on the shore, girls in dresses of the ancient era, weaving wreaths - the movement only enlivens the foreground. Small figures resemble elegant porcelain figurines - they are so tiny against the background of the surrounding landscape.

It is interesting that Lorren did not like to draw people - he trusted other artists to paint their paintings on his paintings, and he devoted himself entirely to working on the image of his beloved nature. In addition, in the classicism so beloved by the author, the landscape in its purest form was considered a "low" genre - the laws of the style required the participation of living characters in the picture.

The artist amazingly precisely built a color scheme in the picture: the dense green background of the coastal strip gradually brightens, turning into a blue tint in the background of the picture, merging with the heavenly expanse. The boundary between water and sky is marked by a small white sail far off the horizon.

Darkness moves away from the viewer along with the transition to light, actually turning a flat canvas into a voluminous work.

In “The Rape of Europe” the painter’s dream of an ideal world is displayed, in which the main thing is a harmonious unity of nature and man, peace, harmony.

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