In 1700 Carlo Maratti’s wife died, permitting him to marry his longtime mistress, Francesca Gommi, who began modeling for the artist in the 1670s and was the mother of his only child, Faustina. This painting was presumably painted shortly after the marriage as an homage from the artist to his new wife. To introduce an allegorical element into the composition, Maratti included a painting within a painting—in this case a drawing depicting Venus forging the love-darts of her adolescent son Cupid, suggesting that love will conquer all.

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  • Title: Portrait of Francesca Gommi Maratti
  • Creator: Carlo Maratti (Italian, 1625-1713)
  • Date Created: c. 1701
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 98.5 x 74.5 cm (38 3/4 x 29 5/16 in.)
  • Provenance: [presumably] Carlo Maratti and Francesca Gommi Maratti, Casino d'Albano, [possibly] by descent to their daughter, Faustina Maratti Zappi (1679-1745), Pietro Ceci (d. 1919), Rome, by descent to his widow, Maria Barbani Ceci, and daughters, Feliciana Schiff-Giorgini and Adriana Misciatelli, (Carlo Orsi, Milan), Luigi Koelliker, Milan, (Robilant + Voena, London and Milan), (NIcholas Hall, New York, by whom sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2018.1
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Fun Fact: The sitter holds a drawing representing Venus making Cupid's weapons, symbolizing the power of love to conquer all.
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Italy
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
  • Collection: P - Italian 16th & 17th Century
  • Accession Number: 2018.1

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