Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Triumph of Painting on Parnassus

Artist:
Pietro Testa (Italian, Lucca 1612–1650 Rome)
Publisher:
Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi (Italian, Rome 1627–1691 Rome)
Date:
ca. 1642
Medium:
Etching
Dimensions:
18 9/16 x 28 1/4 in. (47.2 x 71.8 cm) trimmed to platemark
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949
Accession Number:
49.95.2324
Not on view
Painting, riding in a chariot, is crowned by the Three Graces, her triumph achieved through the union of the two pillars of her art: color (colore), represented by Cupid blending pigments; and light and shadow (chiaroscuro), signified by the horses. She ascends Parnasus, the mount sacred to Apollo and the Muses, progenitors of Art. Envy, the wretched snake-haired figure gnawing on the wheel of the chariot, tries with no effect to impede Painting's apotheosis. This composition takes as its theme the labors and rewards of the virtuous artist.
Inscription: Lettered on scroll lower right with dedication: 'Ill.mo et R.mo D. Hieronymo Bonvisio ... / Petrus Testa Lucen.' Along bottom in three separate cartels 'AFFECTUS EXPRIMIT / ARCUM MERERUR / PARNASO TRIUMPHAT' and in lower left 'Gio. Iacomo de Rossi Formis Romae 1648 alla Pace.'
Princes of Liechtenstein; Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 21, 1996–January 6, 1997.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 13, 2009–October 4, 2009.

Bartsch XX.226.35; Bellini 29; Cropper 73.ii
Adam von Bartsch Le Peintre graveur. Vienna, 1803.

Paolo Bellini L'opera incisa di Pietro Testa. Vicenza, 1976.

Elizabeth Cropper Pietro Testa, 1612-1650: Prints and Drawings. Philadephia, 1988.



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