Discover the history and beauty of mid-seventeenth century to early eighteenth century fans
The Battle of Arbela, 1690/1700
The single kid leaf is painted on the recto with a skilfully adapted version of the Battle of Arbela or ‘Alexander versus Darius’ after Pietro de Cortona. Scenes of battle and warfare were among popular subjects on fans during the Seventeenth Century and demonstrate the diversity of themes favoured by fan painters at this time.
Alexander the Great is a figure closely associated with heroism and virtue, a beacon of masculinity to which men throughout history aspired to. One of his greatest admirers was Louis XIV of France (1638-1715) who instructed Court painter Charles Le Brun to make a series of Alexander paintings for the Louvre.
Da Cortona, Pietro (Italian, 1596 - 1669) was a Baroque painter, architect and interior designer. He produced multiple works for the Medici Family and ceiling frescoes for the Palazzo Barberini.
Image rights owned by The Fan Museum, London.