Landscape with the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

Joachim Patinircirca 1520

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Flemish painter Joachim Patinir enjoyed a high reputation in his own day. He is now considered one of the key figures in the development of landscape painting and its emergence as an independent genre. His figures, mostly biblical characters, tend to be dwarfed by vast landscapes, as can be seen in this painting. In 1521, Patinir met the illustrious German artist Albrecht Dürer, who was visiting Antwerp at the time. The two men are said to have been on cordial terms and were evidently impressed by each other’s work. Dürer was even invited to Patinir’s wedding. On his arrival in Antwerp, the secretary of the city council presented him with a small painting by Patinir representing Lot and his Daughters. It was probably the panel which is now at the museum. Though other paintings of the same subject are known by Patinir’s circle, this landscape is by far the most beautiful of all and the only one that is firmly attributed to Patinir.


  • Title: Landscape with the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Date Created: circa 1520
  • Theme: Christianity-Old Testament
  • Physical Dimensions: w300 x h225 cm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Joachim Patinir
  • Original Title: Landschap met de brand van Sodom en Gomorra
  • Artist Information: Virtually nothing is known about the life of Joachim Patinir, or Patenier. He appears for the first time in 1515 in the books of the St Luke guild, which he joined as painter. Albrecht Dürer called Patinir a landscape artist and is said to have owned one of his paintings. In those days, the landscape was subordinate to the story, mainly biblical. Patinir turns that around, so that the landscape becomes the most important element. He often left the figures in his paintings to others in the studio. Patinir stood at the cradle of the Flemish landscape tradition.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Lent by the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency 1948, http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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