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Five Putti Playing Among the Branches of a Tree

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Five Putti Playing Among the Branches of a Tree 1590s

Not on display

This charming drawing, executed almost entirely with a brush, is a characteristic late sheet by Farinati, perhaps dating from the 1590s. No related painting or fresco by the artist is known, but the light-hearted subject matter of putti frolicking in the branches suggests that it may have been a design for part of the decoration of a country villa. The putto at the top corner reaches for two fruits, apparently pomegranates. Pomegranates have a long symbolic tradition in Western art, and they are traditionally interpreted as a sign of the regeneration and growth of spring.

Glossary Open


A wall painting applied to fresh, wet plaster so that the coloured pigment is absorbed into the surface of the wall.


A chubby, naked boy, sometimes winged, frequently associated with representations of Greek and Roman gods of love.


The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Fresco, Putto , Symbolism


  • Acc. No. D 706
  • Medium Brush and brown wash over black chalk on yellow-toned paper, laid down
  • Size 22.80 x 34.60 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910