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  • Vulcan's Forge

    Artist:
    Giordano, Luca. 1634-1705
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    192,5x151,5 cm

Giordano, Luca. 1634-1705

Vulcan's Forge

Italy, Circa 1660

This early work by Luca Giordano manages to combine a mythological theme with a treatment worthy of a genre painting. In showing the forge of the god of fire, Vulcan (Greek Hephaestus), in which his assistants the Cyclopes are hammering out lightning for the thunderer god, Jupiter (Virgil, The Aeneid, VIII, 424-453), the artist simply used the subject as a pretext for the depiction of unusual lighting effects and muscle-bound bodies in complex poses. Barely showing the faces of the Cyclopes, he concentrates his attention on the strong torsoes and tensed muscles, an excellent knowledge of anatomy allowing him to cope with the difficult foreshortening. The contrast between the reddish light and the dark shadows, and the broad generalised painting manner are used to good effect to create a sense of volume. At the same time, Giordano manages to create a marvellous feeling for the texture of objects, above all the iron and tools.

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Title:

Vulcan's Forge

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

192,5x151,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1779; acquired from the R. Walpole collection, Houghton Hall, England

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-188

Category:

Collection:

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