Title

Rubens and the Disembarkation at Marseilles: Display of Female Power in Patriarchal France

Description/Abstract/Artist Statement

In 1621 Peter Paul Rubens received an ambitious commission by Marie de’ Medici, former Queen Consort and Regent of France. The large-scale work is known as The Medici Cycle, which would commemorate her life and that of her late husband King Henry the IV. The creative and political motivation for this commission was Marie’s return from exile in 1618. Most of the scholarship regarding this work has focused on Marie de’ Medici’s intention behind the cycle’s creation, as well as the allegorical framework which is important when studying this work. In “Dissimulation and the Art of Politics in Marie de’ Medici’s Cycle” Sara Galletti discussed the interest in dissimulation throughout the cycle, which gave the work flexible interpretations depending on who it was shown to by the Queen. Another scholar Sara Cohen in “Rubens’ France: Gender and Personification in the Marie de’ Medici Cycle” has explored the gendered meaning of the painting cycle, concluding that Marie was represented by male and female personifications as a means of aligning her with powerful attributes. This paper will specifically address the Disembarkation at Marseilles in the in the Medici Cycle, while also interpreting the entirety of the cycle. My thesis will show how Rubens used opposing forms of Christian and Pagan mythology to present Marie de’ Medici as virtuous and heroic in The Disembarkation at Marseilles. By exploring various methodologies such as formal qualities, biography, and mythology, this paper will prove how The Disembarkation at Marseilles served as propaganda to elevate Marie de Medici among the great monarchs of France.

Presenting Author Name/s

Andrew Marlowe-Cremedas

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Anne Muraoka

College Affiliation

College of Arts & Letters

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Arts and Humanities | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology

Session Title

Art History 3: Through the Eyes of Women

Location

Zoom

Start Date

3-19-2022 3:30 PM

End Date

3-19-2022 4:30 PM

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Mar 19th, 3:30 PM Mar 19th, 4:30 PM

Rubens and the Disembarkation at Marseilles: Display of Female Power in Patriarchal France

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In 1621 Peter Paul Rubens received an ambitious commission by Marie de’ Medici, former Queen Consort and Regent of France. The large-scale work is known as The Medici Cycle, which would commemorate her life and that of her late husband King Henry the IV. The creative and political motivation for this commission was Marie’s return from exile in 1618. Most of the scholarship regarding this work has focused on Marie de’ Medici’s intention behind the cycle’s creation, as well as the allegorical framework which is important when studying this work. In “Dissimulation and the Art of Politics in Marie de’ Medici’s Cycle” Sara Galletti discussed the interest in dissimulation throughout the cycle, which gave the work flexible interpretations depending on who it was shown to by the Queen. Another scholar Sara Cohen in “Rubens’ France: Gender and Personification in the Marie de’ Medici Cycle” has explored the gendered meaning of the painting cycle, concluding that Marie was represented by male and female personifications as a means of aligning her with powerful attributes. This paper will specifically address the Disembarkation at Marseilles in the in the Medici Cycle, while also interpreting the entirety of the cycle. My thesis will show how Rubens used opposing forms of Christian and Pagan mythology to present Marie de’ Medici as virtuous and heroic in The Disembarkation at Marseilles. By exploring various methodologies such as formal qualities, biography, and mythology, this paper will prove how The Disembarkation at Marseilles served as propaganda to elevate Marie de Medici among the great monarchs of France.