• C
  • Agostino Carracci
Allegory of Abundance and Peace
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Allegory of Abundance and Peace

On Display Scottish National Gallery

This recently rediscovered painting once formed part of the celebrated collections of the Farnese family and was probably painted at the very end of the artist’s career, when he was employed by Duke Ranuccio Farnese in Parma (1600-02). The woman at the left holding a sheaf of wheat and a bunch of grapes represents Abundance or Plenty. We know from two preparatory drawings that the figure at the right was intended to hold a winged sceptre or caduceus, an emblem of Peace. The painting itself is not quite finished – perhaps interrupted by Agostino’s sudden death – and only the lower handle of the caduceus is visible. In the background an army can be seen retreating into a fortified citadel. The essential message of the allegory has to do with the benefits to be gained from peaceful government.

Glossary Open

Allegory

Where the ‘story’ of a work has a deeper underlying meaning – often used for the representation of grand, abstract ideas.

Allegory

Details

  • Acc. No. NGL 001.10
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 88.50 x 73.50 cm (framed: 103.30 x 91.20 x 8.50 cm)
  • Credit Long loan in 2010