- Inventory number
- Lorraine, Claude
- Landscape with the Embarkation of Saint Paula Romana at Ostia
- 1639 - 1640
- 211 cm x 145 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, 1701, [n. 138]; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “estudio de Andrés de la Calleja”, 1772, n. 139; El Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, n. 1057)
This work by Lorraine is a masterpiece in the history of landscape painting. It shows Saint Paula embarking for Palestine and saying farewell to her children.
Saint Paula lived in Rome in the fourth century A. D. After distributing her wealth among the poor, she moved to Bethlehem to live as a hermit under the guidance of Saint Jerome, whom she cared for and aided in his studies. Together, they founded numerous monasteries.
The extraordinarily classical composition combines architectural mass with vegetation, creating a great sense of depth thanks to the shining light coming from the horizon.
A stone tablet on the right reads: IMBARGO STA PAVLA ROMANA PER TERRA SANTA, and on an ashlar, PORTUS OSTIENSIS A (AVGVSTI) ET TRA (IANI).
This work was painted for the Buen Retiro Palace of King Felipe IV (1605-1665) and is the companion of The Archangel Raphael and Tobias (P02255), Landscape with the Burial of Saint Serapia (P02252) and Moses saved from the water (P02253), which are also in the Prado Museum Collection.