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  • Virgil reading the ''Aeneid'' to Augustus and Octavia

    Artist:
    Kauffmann, Angelica Maria Anna Catharina. 1741-1807
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    123x159 cm

Kauffmann, Angelica Maria Anna Catharina. 1741-1807

Virgil reading the ''Aeneid'' to Augustus and Octavia

Germany, 1788

The subject is taken from Ancient Roman history legend described by the 5th-century Latin writer Macrobius. The painting depicts the moment when Octavia, the sister of the Emperor Augustus, loses consciousness as she listens to Virgil’s verses, which reminded her of the early death of her son Marcellus. The artist creates a balanced composition typical of Neoclassicism, the central group of three female figures standing out against the light sky. Visible through the arch opening are the Capitol and the Temple of Jupiter. The striking poses of the figures recall some theatrical scene, in which the heroes express their emotions through dramatic gestures. In this painting sentimentality shows itself through the conventionality and generalization characteristic of Neoclassicism. Subdued colours create a soft colour scheme. Being an extremely sought after painter in her day, Angelica Kauffmann’s work attracted clients of high standing throughout Europe, including Russia, where her work gained recognition thanks to the efforts of Prince Nikolay Yusupov, a lover and connoisseur of art, who literally showered her with generous commissions. The State Hermitage possesses 11 works by Angelica Kauffmann.

Title:

Virgil reading the ''Aeneid'' to Augustus and Octavia

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

123x159 cm

Acquisition date:

Formerly in the Lazienki Palace in Warsaw

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4177

Category:

Collection: