Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille, Rubens – a description of the picture

Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille, Rubens – a description of the picture Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille, Rubens - a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Museum: Louvre
  • Year: 1622-1625

Description of the picture :

Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille – Rubens. 1622-1625. Oil on canvas. 394×295 cm
   In 1622, Rubens received an order from Maria Medici to write a whole cycle of paintings consisting of 21 paintings and displaying the main milestones of her life. One of the brightest canvases of the cycle is “The Arrival of Maria Medici in Marseille”.

   At the heart of the plot is that memorable day when the foot of the future queen first set foot on the French coast. It is impossible to say, that this fact was surrounded by a certain halo of fame and magnificent honors, although Mary arrived on a beautiful sparkling ship, accompanied by three fleets and brought with it seven thousand Italians, who were destined to live in France from now on, however, the painter was able to turn her arrival into a real extravaganza, magnificent priesthood.

   The heroine herself is surrounded by so many bright characters that you can’t see her against their background. First of all, the eye stops on the nudity sirens located at the bottom of the picture. Next to them we see Neptune and Triton. Above the head of the new queen, he blows on the arrival of Glory floating in the sky.

   Mary who leaves the ship is met, scattering her hands, two characters personifying all of France and Marcel in particular.

   Rubens’ whole cycle about Maria Medici was of great political importance – the queen had just returned from exile, finally reconciling with her son, King Louis XIII, and the paintings should have helped strengthen her position and restore her reputation at court. Creating the image of the queen, Rubens managed to exalt him, give royal greatness and significantly transform the ordinary fate of Maria Medici.