About this artwork

The Roman goddess Vesta was guardian of the hearth and keeper of the home. Her temple was attended by ‘Vestal Virgins’, pure young women who were said to represent the daughters of the early Roman kings, and who were charged with keeping Vesta’s sacred fire burning. Here, two Vestal Virgins tend the fire of the temple. This image was painted with great precision and finesse, and Verkolje took particular care over the classical details such as the ornate Corinthian columns around the doorway, and the small statue in the niche. Pictures of historical subjects like this are rare in Verkolje’s oeuvre.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Two Vestal Virgins
  • date created:
    About 1693 - 1746
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • measurements:
    45.70 x 42.70 cm (framed: 59.50 x 56.00 x 9.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland 1993
  • accession number:
    NG 2563
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Nicolaas Verkolje

Nicolaas Verkolje