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Allegory of the Papacy of Clement XI
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Allegory of the Papacy of Clement XI


Description Provenance Credit
Description In this allegory, various symbolic motifs are brought together to express Clement XI's papacy (r. 1700-1721) as an abstract concept. The standing woman at center wearing the papal tiara is holding her cape in a protective manner over a little temple supported by angels. She may by an allegory of Religion protecting the Roman Church. To the base, on which she stands like a column, are chained different agonized figures symbolizing vices, an allusion to Protestants and Muslims. Above, Fame blows her horn while pointing to a portrait of the pontiff. The allegory as a whole is a portrait or a mirror of the pope and his virtues. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 432, pp. 544-545.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 96, as Tiepolo; 1897 catalogue: no. 355, as Sebastiano Ricci]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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Period
ca. 1720 (Baroque)
Medium
oil on copper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.1897
Measurements
Painted surface H: 27 11/16 x W: 20 9/16 in. (70.4 x 52.2 cm)
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