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Old Masters, Renaissance, Frescoes, Giulio Romano, Italian Antique Prints, c. 1810

$2,200

Giulio Romano (c. 1499-1546) (after)
Serafino Cesaretti (artist and engraver)
Il Trionfo di O Amore [The Triumph of Love]
Cerere [Ceres]
Rome: 1810
Engraving with heavily applied gouache
17.25 x 22.5 inches, overall
10 x 14.25 inches, border of Amore
10.5 x 15.75 inches, border of Cerere
$2,200, the pair

Two prints after paintings by Giulio Romano, probably fresco panels. Both prints depict the god or goddess on a chariot drawn by mythological animals across a patch of ground, with a deep black background for dramatic contrast. One depicts Ceres, the Roman earth mother and goddess of grain and agricultural fertility. Semi-nude, wearing a yellow drape and wheat tassels on her head, she rides on a chariot drawn by two serpents, one arm holding up a cornucopia, the other resting on a pile of grain. Ceres was associated in Ancient Rome with the symbols of the Eleusinian Mysteries, including the chariot drawn by snakes. The other print is an allegorical depiction of the idea “love conquers all,” with Cupid riding a chariot carrying the attributes of other gods in the Roman pantheon, Hercules’ lion skin and club, Mars’ helmet, Zeus’ crown, Neptune’s trident, Mercury’s caeduses, and so forth. The motif of the conquering Cupid was popular during the Renaissance, inspired by imagery appearing in a section of a poem by Petrarch called The Triumph of Love: “…and on a fiery car a cruel youth with bow in hand and arrows at his side. No fear had he, nor armor wore, nor shield, but on his shoulders he had two great wings of a thousand hues; his body was all bare….” While Petrarch has the chariot drawn by four white horses, Romano’s version shows Cupid subjugating even Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld.

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Description

The artist, Giulio Romano, also known as Giulio Pippi and Giulio Dei Giannuzzi, began his career as a painter and architect as a pupil and protégé of Raphael, assisting him in the Vatican. His style blended modern sensibilities with the forms of classical art. The monumental fresco and architectural projects he created were his crowning achievement, and his drawings were admired for their facility by his contemporaries, a reputation that continues to this day. While in Rome, he painted frescoes of mythological subjects in the Farnese Palace and elsewhere. He and Gianfranceso Penni were entrusted with the completion of Raphael’s unfinished frescoes in the Sala di Costantino in the Vatican in Raphael’s will. In 1524, Romano entered the service of Federigo Gonzalez in Mantua and was the architect for the Palazzo del Tè, one of the great examples of Mannerist architecture and decoration. There, with several assistants, he decorated the interior with frescoes, including his greatest work, Defeat of the Giants. He also painted frescoes in the Ducal Palace of Mantua and in cathedrals and churches. His easel paintings are in the collections throughout Europe, including the Uffizi and Pitti Palace in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, and other major Italian museums.

Serafino Cesaretti was a 19th century Italian painter and engraver.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall toning, minor wear, soiling in margins. Minor abrasions or scratches to paint. Paper tone varies slightly on the two prints.

References:

Ashby, Alicia. Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean, ed. “Ceres, the Goddess of Grain.” 28 November 2001. Roanoke College. http://students.roanoke.edu/groups/relg211/ashby/Ceres.html (26 April 2005).

“Giulio Romano (Pippi).” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/03/0326/T032677.asp (7 April 2004).

Williamson, George C., ed. Bryan ‘s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. London: G. Bell and Sons: 1930. Vol. 2. pp. 31-32.

Additional information

Century

19th Century