• Diana and Callisto
  • Diana and Callisto
  • Diana and Callisto - 1
  • Diana and Callisto - 2

Diana and Callisto

2nd half of the 17th c.
Object type
49,0 x 64,5 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Small Gallery, 1st floor
Marks and inscriptions
red number 1190 of the Stanisław August collection, bottom left
Place of Origin
Italy (Europe)
National Museum in Warsaw
Acquisition name
deposit; inv. no. 130865 MN
Museum number
Dep 941
More parametrów obiektu

Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2: 453–46.

 ... .

The attribution to Pietro Liberi was upheld in 19th-century Russian sources and Polish literature. It was rejected by Ugo Ruggieri in his ... monograph of Pietro and Marco Liberi. He suggested the authorship of one of Pietro’s pupils, Federico Cervelli. ... .

The painting is not characteristic of Liberi’s manner, which, although it eludes precise definition, is easily recognizable (U. Ruggieri, Pietro e Marco Liberi, Rimini 1996, pp. 29–30). ... .Pietro Liberi painted Diana and Callisto several times ... ; the Łazienki painting is not reminiscent of any of them.

Two female figures, shown di sotto in sù, interlaced with arms, and a white dog, form a decorative group arranged in a triangular pattern. Their bodies stand out against the much darker, brownish hues of the background. The main colour accent is provided by the deep blue tone of the cloth on which Callisto is resting. ...

... This inspiration is clearly visible in the Łazienki composition—close in style particularly to Cervelli’s works from the 1670s and first half of the 1680s. We can find there the same sophisticated elegance of the forms, the same nervous fluidity of the contour, the interplay between light and dark, and above all, the same type of female figures, the proportions and outline of the body, the hands, the details of the coiffure and the garments (the motif of the dark blue drapery), the physiognomy with delicate features characteristically modelled with small spots of shadow ... . [See D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 31, pp. 138–140.]

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