Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria1736 - 1737
In conquests from Greece and Egypt to Afghanistan, the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) founded cities-often named for himself-in key military and trading locations; Alexandria, in Egypt, is the only one still thriving today. Alexander was often involved in the planning; here, he gives instructions to the Greek architect Dinocrates. Behind them, massive walls are under construction. The painting is a "modello," or study, painted in preparation for one of the large canvases commissioned from the artist for the throne room of King Philip V of Spain in the Palace of San Idelfonso (La Granja). Halls where European rulers granted audiences to their subjects and to visiting emissaries were traditionally decorated with tapestries or paintings reinforcing the ruler's position by reference to the power and renown of rulers of the past, principally Alexander the Great or the Roman emperors. In keeping with his ancient theme, Costanzi adopted a frieze-like composition that recalls Greek and Roman relief sculpture. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 407, pp. 517-518.
- 18 1/4 x 25 9/16 in. (46.3 x 65 cm)
- oil on canvas
- Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
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