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  • Battle Between the Lapiths and Centaurs

    Artist:
    Giordano, Luca. 1634-1705
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    260,5x390 cm

Giordano, Luca. 1634-1705

Battle Between the Lapiths and Centaurs

Italy, Late 1680s

"Fa presto" (works fast) was the nickname given to Giordano by his contemporaries, and indeed in his life the master produced in the region of two thousand works. His rich means of expression, perfect sense of composition, colour and texture, are all visible in this work, a marvellous example of decorative Baroque art. The main source of Classical legends for 17th-century artists was Ovid's Metamorphoses. Here we read of the tribe of Lapiths (XII, 210-231) who invited the Centaurs to the wedding of their King, Pirithous. During the feast the Centaurs sought to steal the bride, the beautiful Hippodamia, and her friends. Thus began a great battle, in which the Lapiths were victorious only thanks to the aid of the gods. Giordano unfolds the landscape almost panoramically on this large canvas, filling it with battling figures. At the centre of the fighting is the centaur Eurytion, from whose powerful hands Hippodamia is seeking to escape. The hero Theseus attacks the kidnapper, brandishing his unsheathed sword. The centaur's broad croup seems to project from the picture, a characteristic feature of Baroque art, which tended to break down the borders between the illusory and real worlds.

School:

Title:

Battle Between the Lapiths and Centaurs

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

260,5x390 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1930; transferred from the Stroganov Palace Museum collection

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4705

Category:

Collection:

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