Fedele Fischetti (1732-1792)
Selene and Endymion, c. 1770-1780
Oil on canvas
64 × 77.3 cm. (25 ⅓ × 30 ⅜ in.)
Love for Art, Love in Art
The gallery presents five paintings of exceptional quality on the theme of Love, one of the most important subjects of art and literature. Reflecting our taste for Italian Old Masters, these works celebrate love in a repertoire of widely-varied romantic situations.
Greek mythological figures play a crucial role in amorous scenes, where young Cupids surround the Goddess Venus, while Selene admires her lover Endymion who has fallen into an eternal sleep. Latin poetry guides us in a splendid and intricate artwork as Virgil's motto "Love Conquers us all" (Omnia Vincit Amor) is trampled by Mars, who is chastising a young Cupid and neglecting Venus.
In a magnificent double portrait of a young woman and her suitor, Bernardino Licinio represents amorous sentiment as they engage in a promise of marriage and prosperity. This painting was part of prestigious collections, such as those of Caroline Murat in Naples and of the Comte de Pourtalès in the early mid-nineteenth century. X-radiography allowed us to understand Bernardino Licinio's complex creative process.