Skip to main content

Claude, 'Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula', 1641

Key facts
Full title Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula
Artist Claude
Artist dates 1604/5? - 1682
Date made 1641
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 112.9 × 149 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG30
Location On loan: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, Chimei Museum, Tainan City, Taiwan
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula

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.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo