Minerva as Protectress of the Arts and Sciences

Minerva, goddess of Wisdom, accompanied by Mercury, entrusts the key of knowledge to Intellect, beside whom is the naked figure of Truth. To the left is the she-wolf with the infants Romulus amd Remus, founders of Rome. Minerva gives a hammer to Artifice and Industry at whose feet lie other tools. In the background is Amphion or Eloquence, playing the viola and surrounded by birds.

This painting is one of a group of 10 'modelli', or elaborated oil studies, made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano created for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. This painting is connected with the ceiling of the Galleria.

Key facts

Artist dates
1634 - 1705
Full title
Minerva as Protectress of the Arts and Sciences
Date made
early 1680s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
73.5 x 88 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013
Inventory number
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence