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Titus destroying Jerusalem by Wilhelm von Kaulbach
Titus destroying Jerusalem by Wilhelm von Kaulbach

Titus Destroying Jerusalem

Titus Destroying Jerusalem (Zerstörung Jerusalems durch Titus) c1846 by German Painter Wilhelm von Kaulbach (1805 – 1874); was from the Düsseldorf school of painting, and is known as a muralist and book illustrator.

This Biblical art scene depicts the Roman general Titus and his army during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, showing Roman soldiers storming the city and setting the temple of Jerusalem ablaze in the background.

The painting, known for its dramatic and powerful imagery, is intended to convey the violence and destruction of the siege on Jerusalem; and it is considered to be one of Kaulbach’s most important works, and is an excellent example of his ability to convey historical events in a dramatic and realistic style.

In the rest of the scene starting at the center top we see four spirit male figures, all holding books floating on heavenly clouds; while below them are 7 female angels holding strands of that in their hands as the hover over the chaos.

Below them are Roman soldiers positioned on a broken stone pedestal blowing horns and holding up the Roman Vexillum, with others taking woman prisoners, as they plead for mercy.

Below that are the people of Jerusalem, some dead, some dying others taking their own lives; with many young females cowering in fear.

In the left of the scene there are several people covering themselves with large shields, with a mother holding on to her dead child; while there are three evil spirits flying overhead, chasing an elderly man running for his life, with a sword and shield by his right foot.

Above this part of the scene we can seed the blazing red and yellow fire that is consuming the temple of Jerusalem; with the elders standing on the top most steps of the temple, while others that are in fear cry out for help as some of them are being killed on the steps by soldiers.

On the right side of the scene is Titus riding a white horse over the ruins of the city, with more soldiers to his right blowing horns as his legion marches on Jerusalem and below him are three female angels carrying a gold goblet that is illuminated by a yellow light that has a white oval disc with cross on it.

These angels are over seeing a group of people leaving Jerusalem as they are praying, which includes a mother on a donkey holding her two babies, one that she is nursing, a young girl behind her a man that may be her husband riding another donkey beside her reading from a religious book, behind him is an elderly man, to the left of the donkey two boys reading from a religious book and in the front is a young girl looking skyward, reading from a scroll.

By the side of the donkey carrying the mother and her children, are three children of clothesless boy and two girls begging for help with folded hands.

This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available online as a rolled canvas print.

About The Artist

Wilhelm von Kaulbach was was a prominent painter of the 19th century who was known for his historical paintings and portraits, as well as his illustrations for books and magazines.

He received his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany and later went on to become a professor at the Academy.

He was a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and was also appointed as court painter to King Ludwig I (1786 – 1868) of Bavaria.

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