Battle of the Greeks with the Amazons - Peter Paul Rubens. 121x215; 165.5 cm
One of the most dramatic works of Rubens and the Baroque era as a whole is the painting “The Battle of the Greeks with the Amazons”.
The plot is based on an ancient Greek legend. The Queen of the Amazons, wanting to appease Artemis, put up her squad of women warriors against the Greeks. They had no equal on the battlefield, and the battle was about to be won if Ajax and Achilles had come to the rescue, the last of which mercilessly defeated the Queen of the Amazons, as a result of which the famous detachment was defeated.
A picture of Rubens was commissioned by Cornelis van der Geest, a philanthropist who was the first to discover the talent of the great Rubens.
The canvas depicts a dynamic interweaving of people and animals, a tragic and deadly chaos, which the artist arranged into a harmonious, but swift composition resembling an ellipse. The compositional solution for depicting the famous battle mentioned by Herodotus does not cease to amaze even centuries later.
You can immediately notice a fierce battle, but gradually you begin to pay attention to individual elements of the work. The painter skillfully portrayed each participant in the battle, masterfully plays with light, color and shadow. Lead heavy clouds only increase the mood of horror.