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Minerva as Protectress of the Arts and Sciences
Luca Giordano

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 Luca Giordano
Artist dates 1634 - 1705
Full title Minerva as Protectress of the Arts and Sciences
Group Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence
Date made early 1680s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 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 NG6638
Location in Gallery Not on display
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Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

This group of 10 modelli, or elaborated oil studies, was made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano undertook in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence between 1682 and 1685.

Nine are associated with the ceiling of the Galleria and one, the 'Allegory of Divine Wisdom', is for the ceiling of the adjacent Library.

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