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Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula
Claude
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According to the legend, Saint Ursula, a Christian princess from Britain or Brittany, made a holy pilgrimage to Rome with 11,000 virgins. Dressed in yellow and holding a flag with a red cross, Ursula watches her companions embark on their return voyage. They carry bows and arrows, weapons that represent their death later in the story.

The balance between the soft warmth of the sky and calm sea is typical of Claude’s seascapes. The buildings, trees and ships, all depicted in detail, frame the scene. Claude spent most of his life in Rome: the buildings on the left were inspired by those familiar to him and to this painting’s owner, Fausto Poll (1581–1652), a future cardinal. The palace was inspired by the residence of the powerful Barberini family, Claude’s most influential patrons, whose ship – with their emblem on the flags – is in the centre.

Key facts
Artist Claude
Artist dates 1604/5? - 1682
Full title Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula
Date made 1641
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 112.9 x 149 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG30
Location in Gallery Room 29
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