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  • Alexander the Great and Roxana

    Artist:
    Rotari, Pietro. 1707-1762
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    243x202 cm

Rotari, Pietro. 1707-1762

Alexander the Great and Roxana

Italy, 1756

Russian collections have few large works by Rotari, who came to Russian in 1756 but worked mainly as a (highly successful) portrait artist. He was equally admired by three successive monarchs, Elizaveta Petrovna, Peter III and Catherine II. This canvas was executed for Ekaterina Alexeevna (the future Catherine II while she was still but the wife of the heir to the throne) for her palace at Oranienbaum. This episode from the history of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) comes from Plutarch (Lives, Alexander, XLVII). 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.

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Title:

Alexander the Great and Roxana

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

243x202 cm

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2223

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