Allegorical Figure Representing Africa

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo Italian

Not on view

This work is part of a series of the allegorical representations of the Four Continents that originally served as overdoors. Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo based his figure of Africa on symbols codified in Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia (1593): an elephant trunk headdress and vase. Like representations of saints or other figures that artists aimed to identify, these attributes were important signals to historical audiences, though in the case of the Four Continents, they eventually fed into racialized stereotypes. Like the other large-scale allegorical frescoes in this gallery, this panel was probably detached around 1900 from the Palazzo Valle Marchesini Sala in Vicenza.

Allegorical Figure Representing Africa, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1727–1804 Venice), Fresco, transferred to canvas

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