• Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts to Emperor Augustus

    Artist:
    Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista. 1696-1770
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    69,5x89 cm

Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista. 1696-1770

Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts to Emperor Augustus

Italy, 1743

Tiepolo is often described as the last great master of the Baroque. In a single scene he combined allegorical images and historical figures in a way which was quite usual for 18th-century art. Gaius Maecenas, a Roman statesman during the rule of the Emperor Octavian Augustus (63BC - 14AD), was famous for his patronage of scholars and artists. Tiepolo shows him presenting the Liberal Arts - Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, all shown, according to tradition, as beautiful women - to Augustus. The figure of the ageing Homer serves to personify Poetry. The action is set against a background of Classical Roman architecture. The bright, shining colours were selected with such care that the whole scene seems to be flooded with bright sunlight. Tiepolo was by calling a master of monumental painting, which can be felt even in this small picture, in the lightness of the broad, energetic strokes, the generalized forms and the free approach to spatial construction. The painting was commissioned from Tiepolo in 1743 by Count Francesco Algarotti, a connoisseur of painting, a scholar and a writer, and was intended as a gift for Heinrich Bruhl, first minister at the court of the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Augustus III. The images of the Emperor Augustus and Maecenas thus personify the Elector and his minister, a famous collector who played the role of Maecenas at the court of Saxony. In the depths of the painting, beyond the Tiber, we see Bruhl's Dresden palace with its hanging gardens.

School:

Title:

Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts to Emperor Augustus

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

69,5x89 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1882; transferred from the Gatchina Palace; formerly in the collection of Catherine the Great

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4

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