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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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Details

  • Title: Allegorical Figure
  • Creator: Bernardo Strozzi (Italian, 1581?-1644)
  • Date Created: c. 1636
  • Physical Dimensions: 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.)
  • Provenance: Collection of Italico Brass, Venice, Italy), Sold from the Italico Brass collection, Venice, with the assistance of Harold Woodbury Parsons to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1929.133
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Fun Fact: The preparatory drawing for this painting is also in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (1953.626).
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Italy, 17th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Friends of The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Collection: P - Italian 16th & 17th Century
  • Accession Number: 1929.133

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