Drawn to Paint

Il ContentoIl Contento Il ContentoIl Contento Study for the Painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred'Study for the Painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred' Erminia Finding the Wounded TancredErminia Finding the Wounded Tancred A Lady's Left Hand Holding a Rose. Study for the Painting 'The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick'A Lady's Left Hand Holding a Rose. Study for the Painting 'The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick' The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 - 1782The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 - 1782 A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting 'The Porteous Mob'A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting 'The Porteous Mob' The Porteous Mob (detail)The Porteous Mob (detail) Study for the Portrait of Diego MartelliStudy for the Portrait of Diego Martelli Diego Martelli (1839 - 1896)Diego Martelli (1839 - 1896)

Adam Elsheimer

Il Contento
1607
Elsheimer was clearly satisfied with the composition he had developed in the preparatory drawing to overcome the problem of a crowded foreground. The frieze-like arrangement of the figures has been retained, but there have been some changes. The garlanded cow and sheep assume a less significant position and some figures have been repositioned, such as the older man with outstretched arms who has been moved to the centre. In the painting, Elsheimer included a background scene, which is completely absent in the drawing. This gives the whole picture more depth as it contrasts with the foreground - it is strongly lit and the action surges towards the right. Elsheimer exploited the opposition between light and dark, left and right movement to create a coherent and masterful composition.
  • Credits Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Gallery of Scotland, 1970
  • Medium Oil on copper
  • Size 30.00 x 42.00 cm

Did you know?

Elsheimer is thought to have painted 'Il Contento' for a particular patron, and may have had to submit his preliminary drawings for approval before he began to paint. Recent research has suggested that the patron was Alessandro Farnese.