• Augustus before the Tomb of Alexander

    Artist:
    Bourdon, Sébastien. 1616-1671
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    44,5x56,5 cm

Bourdon, Sébastien. 1616-1671

Augustus before the Tomb of Alexander

France, 1642-1652

The subject of this painting is borrowed from the work of the Roman writer Suetonius “The Lives of the Twelve Caesars”. The chapter devoted to Augustus recounts the story of the Emperor who during the campaign against Egypt visited the burial place of Alexander in the besieged Alexandria. He ordered that his coffin be removed from its shrine and, as a sign of respect, placed a golden crown on the head of the great commander and covered his body with flowers. Bourdon took a very serious approach to the realistic conveying of the atmosphere of the event: the Lictor (honorary guard attending high officials in Ancient Rome) depicted in the background to the left holds in his hands the fascia , a double-edged axe mounted on branches fastened by belts, attributes of imperial authority. Somewhat farther away, against the arch, the signs of the Roman cohorts are visible. The sculpture of a rearing horse brings to mind the legendary horse of Alexander the Great, Bucephalus. The artist has drawn himself among the personages located on the left edge of the painting. Wrapped in a cloak, with his arms crossed on his chest, he calmly watches the event occurring before him without taking part in it.

Title:

Augustus before the Tomb of Alexander

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

44,5x56,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers, in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2111

Category:

Collection: