- Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
- Title: Latinus welcomes Aeneas and offers his daughter Lavinia in marriage
- Artist: Francesco de Mura
- Format (cm): 86 x 152 cm.
- Format (in): 33 7/8 x 59¾ in.
- Last Sale price: 62 500,00
- Last Sale date:
Francesco de Mura (Naples 1696-1782) Latinus welcomes Aeneas and offers his daughter Lavinia in marriage oil on canvas 33 7/8 x 59¾ in. (86 x 152 cm.)
Private collection, Santiago, Chile.
Please note that this painting has been requested for an exhibition dedicated to Francesco de Mura organized by Dr. Arthur Blumenthal, which will take place in 2016 at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College.
De Mura was initially trained by Domenico Viola, but entered the workshop of Francesco Solimena in 1708, eventually becoming his favorite student and most trusted collaborator. De Mura’s style gradually evolved, taking on a lighter and airier palette than his master’s; his figures acquired a new robustness and solidity, as his compositions became more rhythmic and dynamic – all within a framework of gentle classicism. De Mura was widely patronized both in Naples and beyond, receiving numerous private, royal, and ecclesiastic commissions. Among his most celebrated were frescoes for the Abbey at Montecassino and for the Neapolitan churches of the Nunziatella, Santi Severino e Sossio, and San Giuseppe dei Ruffi. This recently discovered painting is an unusually large bozzetto depicting an episode from Virgil’s Aeneid . In it, Aeneas is seen together with his band of exiled Trojans, having arrived at the court of King Latinus of Laurentium on the banks of the Tiber. Beneath the protecting figures of Minerva and Mercury, hovering on a cloud, Aeneas is seen at right, standing next to the King, who grasps his arm. Seated next to him is his daughter Lavinia, who raises her hand, perhaps apprehensively, at the announcement of her betrothal to the foreign hero. One figure plays a lyre, while others dance in celebration amid a lively scene full of activity. Nicola Spinosa (written correspondence, 2 April 2011) has confirmed De Mura’s authorship of the present painting, noting that it is one of several by the artist treating subjects from the Aeneid – other examples being canvases depicting Dido and Aeneas in the Zeri Collection, Mentana, near Rome, and in the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo. He notes that in 1768 De Mura sent eight bozzetti with subjects from the Aeneid to the Arazzeria Reale dei Savoia in Turin. While no finished work is currently associated with the present painting, Spinosa believes that it too served as a bozzetto , most likely for a tapestry. On stylistic grounds, he dates the painting to after 1760.
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