Allegory of Divine Wisdom

This modello, or oil study, was made in preparation for the ceiling of the Library in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence and shows the human intellect as a kneeling youth released from the bonds of ignorance. Attended by Mathematics, who gives him wings, and Philosophy, who holds out a mirror, and Theology, he gazes up at the enthroned figure with globe and sceptre who represents Wisdom. The subject is based on a line from Petrarch's 'Rime'.

This painting is one of a group of ten modelli, or elaborated oil studies, made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano created for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence.

Key facts

Artist dates
1634 - 1705
Full title
Allegory of Divine Wisdom
Date made
early 1680s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
138.5 x 65.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013
Inventory number
Location in Gallery