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Il trionfo della ninfa Galatea

Francesco Albani (Bologna 1578 - 1660) Cerchia di

Francesco Albani (Bologna 1578 - 1660)
Circle of

The Triumph of the Galatea Nymph (or Allegory of Water)
from Ovid, Metamorphoses, book XIII

Oil on canvas
53 x 72 cm.
in frame 62 x 82 cm.

The pendant of this painting, depicting 'Venus and Mars' is published at the following link
D23-023 € 6.500 Request information

The proposed beautiful painting depicting The Triumph of the Nymph Galatea can be attributed to a master adhering to the stylistic and compositional models of the Bolognese Francesco Albani (Bologna 1578 - 1660), presumably active within his close circle.

A disciple of Annibale Carracci, Albani is considered, together with Domenichino and Guido Reni, to be one of the leading exponents of Bolognese classicism, in great demand by the cultured patrons of the time.

Thanks to a style characterised by compositions of an idyllic nature and therefore pleasing to the most intimate taste of the patrons, the greatest output of Albani's workshop is to be found in mythological paintings rather than those with a religious theme.

The composition under examination draws inspiration, albeit with variants, from the Allegory of Fire/Allegory of Water, preserved in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, part of a cycle of four tondi inspired by the Elements and executed by Francesco Albani between 1625 and 1628 for the superb collection of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy (brother of Duke Victor Amadeus I), who had been fascinated by the Stories of Venus and Diana painted by Albani for Scipione Borghese before 1622.

These compositions enjoyed enormous critical acclaim and were extraordinarily praised by European collectors for their aesthetic and decorative value, in which myth and nature find full landscape ideality.

The painting shows, in particular, the Apotheosis of the nymph Galatea, an episode taken from ancient Latin culture (Ovid, Metamorphoses, book XIII), carried in triumph over the waters holding a drape swollen by the wind. The scene takes place in the sea, where Galatea is depicted in the centre of the work on a shell-shaped throne surrounded by cupids and sea creatures, including the Nereids, gods of the sea, and the Tritons, also figures in the procession of the sea god Poseidon.

According to Ovid, the giant Polyphemus was madly in love with Galatea, but his unrequited love led him to kill the goddess's true love, the beautiful Acis, a young shepherd. At this point, Galatea had no choice but to turn her beloved into a river, so that his waters could forever flow into the sea, where she lived. In the background on the right, Aci is depicted as the personification of a river.


The painting is sold complete with an attractive gilded frame and comes with a certificate of authenticity and descriptive iconographic card.
We take care of and organise the transport of the purchased works, both for Italy and abroad, through professional and insured carriers.

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