2 Jan 2019, Buckingham Palace: State Rooms, Royal Collection

2 Jan 2019, Buckingham Palace: State Rooms, Royal Collection

The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace: “The Queen’s official London residence and a working royal palace”, www.rct.uk/visit/the-state-rooms-buckingham-palace: The Grand Entrance and Staircase; The Green Drawing Room; The Throne Room; The Ballroom; The White Drawing Room; The Royal Collection.

“The Royal Collection is … a unique and valuable record of the personal tastes of kings and queens over the past 500 years … held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the nation. It is not owned by her as a private individual“, www.rct.uk/collection/about-the-collection

Inquiring about the Claude paintings in the Royal Collection in 1996, the answer implied that viewing the paintings was possible by special permission of the Queen. Today, a State Room tour includes a visit to the gallery.

Claude paintings (MR = Marcel Röthlisberger 1961, The paintings, vol. I, II. LV = Liber veritatis):

  • Harbour Scene at Sunset (1643), www.rct.uk/collection/401382/harbour-scene-at-sunset: “This harbour scene approaches Roman ruins with the same wonderment that Claude approached the Campagna: in reality the Arco degli Argentieri … was in a squalid corner of Rome, but here it is the glorious frame of an idealised harbour with a walled port in the background … The activities of the figures … seem to be calculated to create a mood rather than describe the Italian street: two noble figures contemplate a voyage, while bales of cloth and caskets of treasure are unloaded and a man sleeps …”, MR p. 135-6 (dated 1637; “Differs considerably from the drawing of the Liber”) & fig. 62; LV 19
  • A View of the Campagna from Tivoli (1645), rct.uk/collection/404688/a-view-of-the-campagna-from-tivoli: “The rich intensity of this evening landscape has been revealed by the recent conservation … Unlike the majority of Claude’s works, the picture has no other subject matter than the drama and beauty of the Campagna … This is Claude’s last, and most accurate, topographical composition“, MR p. 245 (“Claude’s most spectacular sunset … This is Claude’s last topographical picture … and the only one of his views of Tivoli … which corresponds to topographical reality, except that the whole scene is somewhat compressed in width… On the horizon, the dome of St. Peter…”) & fig. 169; LV 89
  • Coast scene with the Rape of Europa (1667), www.rct.uk/collection/405357/coast-scene-with-the-rape-of-europa: “The Rape of Europa is recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Jupiter, who was enamoured with the mortal princess Europa … changed himself into a white bull and mingled with a herd of cattle, while Europa and her attendants were gathering flowers near the seashore. Charmed by the bull’s good nature and fine appearance, Europa hung garlands of flowers over its horns and climbed onto its back. She was carried out to sea, to the island of Crete, where Jupiter resumed his normal shape and ravished her … Five versions of this subject by Claude are known, the earliest was painted in 1634. Of these, the one in the Royal Collection is the last and the most sophisticated…”, MR p. 327-8 (“Compared with the first original [in Pushkin Museum, Moscow], the composition is simplified, in conformity with the serene style of Claude’s works of the years around 1667…”); LV 136.

Context: 3 Jan 2019, Φ Sojourn in London, 27 Dec 2018 – 3 Jan 2019