An Allegory of the Virtues of Federico II Gonzaga

Object Details

Title:

An Allegory of the Virtues of Federico II Gonzaga

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1530

Medium:

Pen and brown ink with black chalk and white gouache used for corrections

Dimensions:

24.9 x 31.8 cm (9 13/16 x 12 1/2 in.)

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Seated on the edge of a cloud, in the center of the bottom of this drawing, a personification of the city of Mantua reaches out to receive a book from another figure at the right. Others circle above her holding in their hands such attributes as a globe, a lute, and a wreath. The god Mercury, identifiable by his winged helmet, hovers in the upper right corner.

Giulio Romano produced this design as a study for his patron Federico II Gonzaga's Palazzo del Tè, outside of Mantua. Intended to glorify Federico and his reign, it presents the central ceiling fresco of an addition to the palazzo. The numerous pentimenti in the drawing show that Giulio continued to experiment with the arrangement of the figures. For example, the right arm of the woman with a wreath was originally extended, holding a book. The figure on the far left, whose left arm reaches towards the center, was originally drawn slightly higher.

Exhibitions
Giulio Romano (September 1 to November 12, 1989)
  • Museo Civico di Palazzo Te, (Mantua), September 1 to November 12, 1989, (Cat.)
Fürstenhöfe der Renaissance: Giulio Romano und die klassische Tradition (December 6, 1989 to February 18, 1990)
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum, (Vienna), December 6, 1989 to February 18, 1990, (Cat.)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 50)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 18)
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.)