The Great Landscape with a Tempest in Vienna is one of Peter Paul Rubens’s largest and most dramatic landscapes. Starting from the far-reaching discoveries during the latest restoration, the volume provides a comprehensive insight into the process of creation of this fascinating picture as well as its art-historical interpretation.
Evidently produced for pleasure, the Great Landscape remained in Rubens’s possession until his death. As the restoration has shown, Rubens changed the painting several times and only added the story of Philemon and Baucis at the end. The poor elderly couple were the only ones to offer Jupiter and Mercury hospitality and were thus rescued from the punishment of the floods. The restoration procedures and the complex composition and creation of the painting are discussed together with its art-historical classification. A consideration of Rubens’s portrayal of nature and thus the outstanding position of this work in European landscape painting round out the presentation.