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A Personification of Fame
Bernardo Strozzi
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A young woman, dressed in a dazzling yellow skirt and red bodice, semi-reclines in a dark landscape setting, of which only some rocks and plants in the foreground are visible. Her wings and the trumpets she holds identify her as the allegorical figure of Fame. Normally Fame is shown with a single trumpet or two trumpets of different lengths, intended to symbolise good and bad fame, but here she holds a golden trumpet in one hand and a wooden instrument – a shawm (a forerunner of the oboe) – in the other.

The painting is a relatively late work by the Genoese painter Strozzi, who spent the last few years of his life in Venice. The bright colourful palette and virtuoso brushwork evident on the skirt and white shirt are typical of his technique.

No other paintings by Strozzi of this subject are known, and its elongated format suggests that it may have been intended as an overdoor.

Key facts
Artist Bernardo Strozzi
Artist dates 1581 - 1644
Full title A Personification of Fame
Date made probably 1635-6
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 106.7 x 151.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1961
Inventory number NG6321
Location in Gallery Not on display
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