The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Landscape with Apollo and Mercury
  • Claude (1604 - 1682)
  • Landscape with Apollo and Mercury
  • Italy
  • 1660
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 74.5 x 110.4 cm
    Object size: 104 x 138.5 x 7.5 cm
  • Signature: 'CLAUDE IV. / ROMA / 1660'
  • P114
  • Great Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Claude was born in the Duchy of Lorraine (in present-day France)
    but spent his career as a landscape painter in Rome. His originality lay in
    his masterly depiction of light, which both unifies his compositions and
    enhances their poetic mood. In this painting Claude depicts the luminous
    morning light of the countryside around Rome (the Campagna), which he drew and painted throughout his career.
    The figures are drawn from classical mythology (the Latin poet Ovid’s
    Metamorphoses): the Roman god Apollo in the foreground plays the pipes in
    memory of his lost love, Coronis. In the background, Mercury takes advantage of Apollo’s distracted state of mind to steal his cattle. Technical analysis has revealed that Claude’s original composition did not include the dog and that Apollo was depicted seated in a different position. These additions and changes were made to the painting at a later stage, probably by the seventeenth-century Flemish painter Cornelis de Wael, the first owner
    of the painting.
    The painting was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1846.