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After Padovanino, Cornelia and her Sons

Key facts
Full title Cornelia and her Sons
Artist After Padovanino
Artist dates 1588 - 1648
Date made 17th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 142.5 × 118.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Lt.-Col. J.H. Ollney, 1837
Inventory number NG70
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Cornelia and her Sons
After Padovanino

After a female friend boasted of the jewels she owned, Cornelia Africana, a widowed Roman matron and mother of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus (known as the Gracchi), declared her sons to be her jewels. Cornelia educated the boys after their father’s death and they went on to serve as tribunes (powerful elected officials) in Rome in the late second century BC. Here Cornelia points to the books held by her young sons in contrast to the pearl necklace lifted from the jewellery box by her friend.

The quality of the top portion of this painting suggests that it is an old seventeenth-century copy, perhaps made because the original was damaged or destroyed. The lower portion of the painting might conceivably be by Padovanino, a painter from Padua who worked in Venice.

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