The First Fruits of the Earth Offered to Saturn

Giorgio Vasari Italian

Not on view

The drawing, surely from the hand of Vasari himself, is a study for an Allegory of Earth painted by his assistant Cristofano Gherardi in the Sala degli Elementi, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. There are a number of differences between the preparatory drawing and the finished fresco. Vasari supplied a full description of the complex symbolism of this allegorical composition that is dominated by the figure of Saturn holding up a serpent that bites its own tail. This circular symbol is said to be an Egyptian hieroglyph, symbolic of the rotundity of the heavens among other things.

The First Fruits of the Earth Offered to Saturn, Giorgio Vasari (Italian, Arezzo 1511–1574 Florence), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of red chalk

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