Victory, Janus, Chronos and Gaea

Object Details

Title:

Victory, Janus, Chronos and Gaea

Artist/Maker(s):

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) (Italian, before 1499 - 1546)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1532 - 1534

Medium:

Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk

Dimensions:

37.5 x 31.8 cm (14 3/4 x 12 1/2 in.)

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Two Roman gods and a goddess, accompanied by a Victory, peer down from the edge of a bank of clouds. On the left, holding a large key, is Janus, the guardian of the doorways of houses and city gates. He is traditionally portrayed with two faces, demonstrating his ability to look both ways at once. In the center, the bearded figure of Chronos personifies Time. In one hand he holds a scythe, while a snake gripping its tail in its mouth wraps itself around his neck. Such a snake holding its tail was an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity. Gaea, the goddess of the Earth, crouches at Chronos's feet with another snake grasped in her right hand. The winged figure of Victory, her hair streaming out to the side, stands behind these three and holds out a crown in her left hand.

Giulio Romano made this drawing in preparation for part of the frescoed vault of the Sala dei Giganti (Room of the Giants) in the Palazzo del Te, the summer residence of the court of Giulio's patron, Federico Gonzaga, duke of Mantua. Giulio completed the preparatory drawings for the fresco, and his assistants then squared them for transfer to the ceiling.

Exhibitions
Giulio Romano, Master Designer (1499-1546) (September 14 to November 27, 1999)
  • Hunter College Art Gallery, (New York), September 14 to November 27, 1999, (Cat.)
Raphael and his Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001, (Cat.)
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006, (Cat.)
Disegno: Drawing in Europe 1520-1600 (November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013, (Cat.)