Pietro Rotari

Alexander the Great and Roxane

Alexander the Great and Roxane
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Author: Pietro Rotari
History Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 243x202 cm
Origin: Italy, 1756

Russian collections have few large works by Rotari, who came to Russian in 1756 but worked mainly as a portrait artist. He was equally admired by three successive monarchs, Elizaveta Petrovna, Peter III and Catherine II. This canvas was executed for Ekaterina Alexeevna for her palace at Oranienbaum.

This episode from the history of Alexander the Great comes from Plutarch . During a siege of a fortress in Bactria, the eastern part of the Persian state of Darius III, Roxane - daughter of a Bactrian satrap or nobleman - was captured. In an effort to gain the support of the Persian aristocracy, Alexander married her. Rotari here shows Alexander's meeting with Roxane, who is surrounded by weeping slaves and stands modestly before the amazed military commander.

Soft pale blue, pink and yellowish-brown tones form an elegant colour range, giving the Classical composition something of the elegance and lightness of the Rococo style.

Personage: Alexander the Great
Source of entry: Provenance: before 1859
School: Verona
Theme: History
Exibition: Italian Art: 13th - 18th centuries

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