The two female allegorical figures represent Virtue and Nobility. Virtue is the young woman with wings grasping a spear, while Nobility holds in her hand a statuette of Minerva. Their eyes meet against the backdrop of the sky and their garments seems to flutter in the wind. They are accompanied by three putti: one looks down from above, another seems to be swooping down through the air, while the third is plunging into a cloud.
The painting is a sketch for various larger compositions painted by Tiepolo at different times on the ceilings of villas and private residences. The sketch was painted with rapid, vibrant brushstrokes, using a clear and brilliant palette, even in the parts thrown into shadow, with a skilful use of backlighting. It has been dated to the 1740s.


  • Title: Allegory of Virtue and Nobility
  • Creator: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
  • Date Created: 1740 - 1750
  • Physical Dimensions: w30 x h35.4 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fondazione artistica Poldi Pezzoli "Onlus"
  • External Link: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/node/600
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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