• Continence of Scipio

    Artist:
    Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo. 1708-1787
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    226,5x297,5 cm

Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo. 1708-1787

Continence of Scipio

Italy, 1771

From the Renaissance onwards The Continence of Scipio was an extremely popular subject in European art. During the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), the famous Roman military commander Publius Cornelius Scipio (c. 235-183 BC) captured the city of New Carthage in Spain. The Romans gained vast booty and the historian Livy tells how Scipio could have taken as his concubine the most beautiful girl of noble birth in the city, captured along with many others, but did not exercise his right, returning her to her beloved (Livy, Roman History, XXVI, 50). Batoni's canvas is a pair with ‘Chiron Returns Achilles to his Mother Thetis’ and resembles it in terms of composition. Equally one can find a similarity in the colour scheme: the bright colours of the characters’ garments stand out prominently against the greyish-brown architectural setting. Wearing a scarlet (the colour of a victorious hero) cloak, Scipio hands the girl over to her kneeling beloved; the prisoner’s white dress symbolizes her chastity. Various vases in the foreground are marvelously painted. Batoni, who was a jeweller in his youth, had a predilection for composing elegant still lifes constructed from the various objects he depicted.

School:

Title:

Continence of Scipio

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

226,5x297,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1926; transferred from the Gatchina Palace

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2609

Comment:

Pair to the painting "Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron"

Category:

Collection:

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