David Roberts

The Porch of St Maclou, Rouen

1829

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 546 x 406 mm
frame: 672 x 540 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Layard GCB 1913
Reference
N02956

Display caption

The medieval architecture of France and the fine examples of Gothic to be seen in cities like Rouen became popular themes for artists during the 1820s. British artists responded enthusiastically, extending their tradition of the picturesque tour to continental scenery and antiquities, while French artists and writers directed attention to monuments and religious relics recently neglected or defaced as a result of the Revolution. For Charles Nodier, Rouen was the ‘Herculaneum of the Middle Ages’. More than a detailed study of architecture, Roberts’s picture of St Maclou is intended as a moody evocation of a lost age of faith.

Gallery label, February 2016

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