Sunday, 21 October 2012

Domenichino and The Cumaean Sibyl

 'The Cumaean Sibyl' (c. 1610) by Domenichino;
Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome 

I'm happy to do a post on Italian painter Domenichino, born on October 21, 1581, as Domenico Zampieri because I get to post the painting 'The Cumaean Sibyl', which I like very much. Domenichino was a leading Baroque painter and worked with other Bolognese artists under Annibale Carracci. He painted frescoes on commission and paintings. The Last Communion of St. Jerome, dated 1614, is one of the period's greatest paintings and is holding its own with wonderful artworks like Transfiguration by Raphael. Today's painting of The Cumaean Sibyl is the version that is at the Pinacoteca Capitolina in Rome and belongs to the Albergati Collection. I wasn't aware before doing this post but apparently there are four known versions of Sibyl. All Sibyls have similar exotic turbans and rich fabrics. There is one at the Galleria Borghese, Rome, dated 1616-17, which is very similar to the one at the Pinacoteca. The Sibyl that is in the Wallace Collection in London is called The Persian Sibyl and is slightly different. Then there is a fourth Sibyl which Domenichino had painted for the Ratta family in Bologna but I couldn't find an image for that one. It must be very similar to the one at Pinacoteca Capitolina. Actually, while doing this post, I got a bit confused and stopped looking for the Ratta's Sibyl. Anyway, these are the sources for my little research on the different versions (click here and here). For further reading on The Cumaean Sibyl, click here.

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