Bernardo Strozzi

Allegory of the Arts

Allegory of the Arts
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Author: Bernardo Strozzi
Painting, Oil on canvas, 152x140 cm
Origin: Italy, Circa 1640

Allegories occupied a very special place in the art of the 17th and 18th centuries, a separate group being formed by allegories of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In the medieval era, these were considered to be crafts, but in the Renaissance period they were elevated to the level of "free arts" and thus gained considerably in status. Alongside the images of women embodying the arts, some paintings included depictions of the ageing Homer, embodiment of Poetry. Strozzi place a marble bust of Homer in the foreground of his composition, the three women crowding around in a tight group. Their naked shoulders, breasts and plump hands seem almost to touch the marble, its greenish tinge emphasizing the living warmth of their bodies. These women are not classical beauties, but they are full of strength and energy, marvellous in their luxurious solidity. Strozzi almost sculpts the folds of white drapery and the pinkish-yellow striped scarf of Painting, using broad, thick, rough strokes of paint.

Source of entry: Stroganov Palace Museum, Leningrad, 1930
School: Genoa
Theme: Allegory
Exibition: Italian Art: 13th - 18th centuries

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