Pietro Liberi

Triumph of Fame and Heroic Virtue

c. 1652
Hercules and personifications of Fortuna, Magnanimity, Fame and Virtue figure in this complex allegorical composition, which was designed as a ceiling fresco. Liberi's work decorates the vault of the "sala della fantasia" (fantasy room) in the Villa Foscarini Rossi in Strà (near Padova). The fresco is framed by sophisticated and detailed painted architecture signed by the "quadraturista" Domenico Bruni (1591-1666). This apparatus confers impressive height to the ceiling, opening it up to the sky and clouds of Liberi's celestial composition, which is situated within the curved rectangle that mirrors the shape of the painted architectural frame. The squaring of the sheet implies that the drawing also served to transfer the composition during the execution of the fresco.
Title
Triumph of Fame and Heroic Virtue
Date
c. 1652
Medium
Drawing
Materials
brush with black and grey ink over black chalk, heightened with white gouache, over graphite on grey laid paper
Dimensions
38.9 x 47.7 cm
Nationality
Italian
Credit line
Gift of Sidney and Gladye Bregman, Toronto, 2009
Accession number
43114