The Adoration of the Golden Calf
Europe, Italy, Rome
First floor: 18th Century
112.8 x 156.6 cm
The Adoration of the Golden Calf 1660
Claude Gellée, called Lorrain 1600-1682
Oil on canvas
This painting represents a biblical episode from Exodus.
The disenchanted Israelites worship a false deity,
to the anger of Moses, who returns from Mount Sinai
after receiving the Ten Commandments.
He descends a path to the left of the canvas.
A French artist, Claude spent most of his life in Rome.
His art was very influential in Britain during the 1700s:
over half his output had crossed the Channel by 1820.
Claude mixed an idyllic vision of the Roman countryside
with pastoral, mythological and biblical subjects.
His combination of ideal landscapes and moral themes
proved irresistable to British tourists and collectors.
Purchased with the assistance of the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund,
the National Art Collections Fund, the Wolfson Foundation, the Corporate Patrons
of Manchester City Galleries, The Friends of Manchester City Galleries,
the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Assheton-Bennett Fund 1981.3