Mount Athos Carved as a Monument to Alexander the Great

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1796

Artist:

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes
French, 1750-1819

About this artwork

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, a leading landscape artist in late-18th-century France, sought to elevate the art of landscape to the level of history painting. In the hierarchy of subjects set by the French artistic establishment, the painting of inspiring religious and historical narratives was placed higher than the imitation of nature. Valenciennes followed the 17th-century precedent of Nicolas Poussin by imbuing his landscapes with moral content. This work and its companion, Alexander at the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, address questions of fame and mortality through episodes from the life of Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.). Here Valenciennes depicted an unrealized project to perpetuate Alexander’s glory—a monumental image of the ruler carved into Mount Athos.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 219

Artist

Pierre Henri de Valenciennes

Title

Mount Athos Carved as a Monument to Alexander the Great

Origin

France

Date

1796

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Inscribed lower right: P. Valenciennes / [...] 1796

Dimensions

16 1/2 × 36 in. (41.9 × 91.4 cm)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mrs. Harold T. Martin

Reference Number

1983.36

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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