A sea port: palatial buildings on the left, ships on the right, and people on the shore in the centre. Engraving by J.Ph. Le Bas and Petit after Claude Lorraine.

  • Lorrain, Claude, 1600-1682.
[between 1700 and 1799]
  • Pictures

About this work


Supposed (by Le Bas?) to show "the ancient port of Messina", possibly owing to Louis XIV's support for Messina's secession from Spain. Left foreground, a man seated on a chest plays a guitar to a woman, while two other string instruments are placed to one side; to right of them, a pedlar sells a clay pipe to another man. Centre, two men fighting, watched by two (Spanish?) men, one of whom draws his sword. Right, barrels being brought ashore in a rowing boat from a French ship in the harbour. A clock on the left gives the time as 7 o'clock, interpreted by the Louvre as sunset rather than dawn


A Paris (rue de la Harpe) : chés Le Bas, [between 1700 and 1799]

Physical description

1 print : engraving and etching ; image 43.8 x 60.4 cm


Ancien port de Messine. Dédié à Christian VII roi de Dannemark, de Norwege, des Vandales [?] et des Gotes [?], Duc de Sleswic, de Holstein, de Storemarse et de Detmarse, comte d'Oldembourg, et de Delmenhorst &c. par son très humble et très obéissant serviteur J.P. Le Bas premier graveur du cabinet du roi de France, et de son Académie Royale de Peinture. Tableau appartenant au Roi, de la galerie du Luxembourg. Petit scrip.

References note

Not found in: Yves Sjöberg and Françoise Gardey, Inventaire du fonds français, graveurs du XVIIIe siècle. tome 13, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes, Paris 1974 (inventory of works by J.P. Le Bas)
Doretta Cecchi, L'opera completa di Claude Lorrain, Milan: Rizzoli, 1975, no. 100, p. 97 (composition engraved four times, by Le Bas, Vivares, Devilliers and Châtelain)


Wellcome Collection 2924457i

Reproduction note

After a painting in the same direction in the Musée du Louvre (collection of King Louis XIV, given in 1693, inv. no. 4715), described in its online catalogue as "Port de mer au soleil couchant"


Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

Permanent link