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This artwork, An Allegory of the Arts: The Spanish Monarchy dispensing the gift of painting, witnessed by the Arts and History by Corrado Giaquinto, is currently for sale at The Matthiesen Gallery.
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Corrado Giaquinto, An Allegory of the Arts: The Spanish Monarchy dispensing the gift of painting, witnessed by the Arts and History
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TITLE:  An Allegory of the Arts: The Spanish Monarchy dispensing the gift of painting, witnessed by the Arts and History
ARTIST:  Corrado Giaquinto (Italian, 1703–1765)
WORK DATE:  circa 1753 - 1754
CATEGORY:  Paintings
MATERIALS:  Oil on canvas
SIZE:  h: 40.9 x w: 69.7 cm / h: 16.1 x w: 27.4 in
STYLE:  Renaissance
PRICE*:  Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY:  The Matthiesen Gallery  +44 (0)20 7930 2437  Send Email
DESCRIPTION:  The Neapolitan artist Corrado Giaquinto had the greatest impact of any foreign artist working in Spain in the eighteenth century. He had left Italy for Madrid in 1753, traveling via Zaragoza where his pupil, Gonzalez Velazquez, who hd studied under him while in Rome was working in the basilica of El Pilar. During his short stay there he had an enormous influence on the local painters, particularly Francisco and Ramon Bayeu and the young Goya. He had been summoned to Madrid to paint fresco ceilings for the Royal Palace in Madrid, as there was no Spanish painter capable of carrying out commissions of such importantance at the time, completing three major works in the chapel, above the main staircase and in the Salon de Columnas. He was given the title of First Painter of the King and Director of the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1753, and his preemininece in Madrid may be compared to that of Charles le Brun at the court of Louis XIV at Versailles.

This important work is a modello for a fresco in the Palaçio Real depicting an Allegory of the Spanish Monarchy dispensing gifts, wherein Ferdinand VI is depicted as Apollo the Sun God either remunerating the Arts or bestowing the gifts of the Arts to his country. The work probably dates to around or just after 1753, and was painted around the same time as a similar modello depicting an Allegory of Peace and Justice, now in the Indianapolis Museum of Art (see Matthiesen and Stair Sainty Matthiesen, Paintings, London and New York 1996, no. 9, pp. 38-40. The frescoes were begun shortly after the artist assumed his duties as First Painter to the King were part of a grand redecoration sceme for the New Royal Palace. Encapsulated in these elegant complex compositions, are the most salient themes of Ferdinand VI's monarchy whose reign as a just and peaceful king presiding over a prosperous realm fostered a ‘renaissance’ of the arts. This idea of Ferdinand as the architect of prosperity within his kingdom was emphasised throughout the complex iconographical program for the New Royal Palace, which was written in 1748 by Father Martin Sarmiento.

PROVENANCE:  Private Collection, Spain
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S):  Matthiesen Gallery Inventory
LITERATURE:  The Matthiesen Gallery & Stair Sainty Matthiesen, European Paintings - Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism, Realism, Futurism. Spring 2001, exhibition catalogue, pp.64-68, colour (the subject matter is incorrectly identified).
EXHIBITION HISTORY:  Zaragoza, Museo de Zaragoza, Goya and Italy, 1 June – 15 September 2008, p. 154, cat. no. 220, colour illus.
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