Antonio Verrio

Sketch for a Ceiling Decoration: An Assembly of the Gods

c.1680–1700

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1692 x 829 mm
frame: 1945 x 1090 x 133 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1967
Reference
T00916

Display caption

This sketch depicts an assembly of classical gods, with the sun-god Apollo in his chariot at the top. The design is full of incident and includes so many figures that some seem to be falling out of the fictive sky into the real space below.

This design was for a ceiling of an aristocratic patron, and was probably intended for a room at Moor Park Hall, Hertfordshire. Is it possible to detect a distinct ‘aristocratic’ taste in such designs?

Gallery label, March 2011

Catalogue entry

Antonio Verrio c.1639–1707

T00916 Sketch for a Ceiling Decoration: An Assembly of the Gods

Not inscribed.
Canvas, painted surface 66¿ x 32¿ (169 x 83) on stretcher 67 x 33 (170 x 84).
Purchased from the Leger Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1967.
Coll: John Scott, first Earl of Eldon, d. 1838; sold anonymously Sotheby’s, 22 February 1967 (43, as by Sir James Thornhill) bt. Leger.

This has been recognised as the work of Verrio by Mr Edward Croft-Murray. It has not been possible to identify the project for which it is a sketch.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1967–1968, London 1968.

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