Allegorical Figure

Allegorical Figure

c. 1636

Bernardo Strozzi

(Italian, 1581?-1644)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 178.5 x 133.5 x 12 cm (70 1/4 x 52 9/16 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 145.8 x 99.8 cm (57 3/8 x 39 5/16 in.)

Gift of the Friends of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1929.133

Description

During the 1630s, the Genoese artist Bernardo Strozzi painted a number of female figures representing various intellectual and artistic pursuits, reflecting the appeal of such allegories among learned patrons in northern Italy. Recent scholarship has convincingly identified the subject of this painting as Minerva. The Roman goddess of war has put aside her armor for more contemplative pursuits; her upward gaze—as if seeking inspiration—recalls her other associations with wisdom, eloquence, and the arts.

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