The J. Paul Getty Museum

Allegories of Fortitude and Patience

Object Details


Allegories of Fortitude and Patience


Federico Zuccaro (Italian, about 1541 - 1609)




about 1595


Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, over black chalk

Object Number:



17.3 × 42 cm (6 13/16 × 16 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

Allegorical figures of Fortitude and Patience sit on either side of a large, empty circle that Federico probably intended to contain a device, such as the sugar loaf belonging to the Zuccaro family. Fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues, sits on the left, symbolizing courage, strength, and endurance. A lion signifying bravery crouches at her feet, while an ox peers over her shoulder. On the right, Patience carries the yoke of servitude or obedience and sits with a lamb at her feet. An ass stands behind her.

The drawing's irregular shape and viewpoint suggest to scholars that it was intended for a ceiling decoration. The light seems to come from the upper left, highlighting one side of the women's faces while casting the other side of their bodies into dark shadow.

One Hundred Original Drawings by Zucchero, Andrea del Sarto, Polidore da Caravaggio and Fra Bartolomeo (April 1836)
  • Lawrence Gallery (London), April 1 to April 30, 1836
Taddeo Zuccaro: An Artist's Life in Renaissance Rome (June 15 to August 29, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 15 to August 29, 1999
Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro: Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome (October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008