These three women personify Christian virtues. The figure in red, surrounded by children, represents Charity while the one wearing blue is Faith. The woman on the far right holds an anchor, a traditional symbol of Hope.

Pietro Berrettini — better known as ‘Cortona’, his hometown in central Italy — was the leading painter in 17th-century Rome. He created magnificent decorations for
its many churches and palaces. For the two women on the left in this work, he repeated figures from an earlier large decorative scene of an Old Testament subject. He then simply added the third figure to change their meaning and turn them all into allegorical virtues.


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