Architectural Paintings

Legendary cities and architectures(Room 5)

La torre de Babel

Lucas van Valckenborch (Leuven, 1535-Frankfurt, 1597) The tower of Babel

Oil on panel
43.5 x 64.5 cm
Coblence, Mittelrhein-Museum; inv. MRM M31

Of all the legendary cities there are two that stand out particularly: Jerusalem and Babylon. Both cities inspired artists to create fanciful constructions in which to set episodes and further enhance their fame. Such is the case of the Jerusalem of Dosso Dossi and the palace of Solomon by Francisco Gutiérrez. Marten van Valckenborch I’s Babylon is based on a design by Maerten van Heemskerck engraved by Philip Galle, which was also the source of inspiration for the works on copper attributed to Louis de Caulery showing three of the wonders of the world that were engraved by Galle. The tower of Babel was another of the emblematic buildings that artists reconstructed from the description in Genesis.

Organized by

Caja Madrid Museo Thyssen Bornemisza