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Allegory of Justice and Peace
Giaquinto, Corrado
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Giaquinto, Corrado

Molfetta, Apulia (Italy), 1703 - Naples (Italy), 1766

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Allegory of Justice and Peace

1753 - 1754. Oil on canvas.
Room 021

This allegorical work, signed on the column lying on the ground in the centre of the composition, shows two women in Roman garb sitting on clouds. Representing Justice and Peace, they embrace and seem about to kiss each other. This pictorial motif could be used to express political peace or, as is the case here, to allude to the peaceful policies that characterised the reign of Ferdinand VI, for whom this work was painted. It also relates to Psalm 85, which announces eternal peace between God and humankind, or salvation, implying the warning that peace should be consolidated on earth as well: Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Justice manifests her great authority with a crown and sceptre. She is also inspired by Divine Justice, symbolised by the white dove of the Holy Ghost. The customary attributes alluding to Justice’s most essential characteristics are also present, including the ostrich, whose symmetrical feathers signify fairness, and a fasces and a column, which symbolise severity and fortitude, at her feet. Her sword evokes the separation of good from evil, an act also associated with the scales lying on the ground. The prone figure surrounded by pieces of armour represents discord or war, which has been dutifully vanquished by Justice. It is also the target of one of Cupid’s arrows, which is stored in a box and symbolises reconciliation. The god of love is accompanied by two other cherubs who operate a bellows in front of the Temple of Peace, fanning the flames that will be used to burn the armour.

Peace bears an olive branch, transmitting the idea that it is the result of Justice, which leads to the wellbeing symbolised by a horn of plenty at her feet, and by the wheat and fruit on the tree to the right being harvested by cherubs. The lion and the lamb, symbolising meekness and strength, also allude to God’s coming as announced by the Psalm 85. Specifically, these animals refer to the characterisations of Christ as the Lion of Judea and the Lamb of God that appear at the beginning of the Book of the Seven Seals that marks the beginning of the Last Judgement and the establishment of Paradise. With this combination of secular allegory and religious references, Giaquinto sought to ennoble the reign of Ferdinand VI by comparing it to the Kingdom of God.

Corrado Giaquinto was the leading exponent of the Roman Rococo during the first half of the eighteenth century and had a decisive influence on Spanish artists from that time, including Antonio González Velázquez (1723-1794) and Mariano Salvador Maella (1739-1819). In 1740, while based in Rome, Giaquinto began work for the Spanish court, supervising Spanish scholarship students at the Accademia di San Luca. In 1753, three years after he painted the main fresco at the Roman church of Santissima Trinità degli Spagnoli, he was called to Madrid as Ferdinand VI’s first court painter. There, Giaquinto directed and carried out the decoration of the Royal Palace and supervised decorative work on the court’s other palaces. In 1762 he retired to Naples for health reasons and was replaced by Anton Raphael Mengs and Giambattista Tiepolo. When Giaquinto died, Tiepolo took his place as first chamber painter (Maurer, G. en: Italian Masterpieces. From Spain´s Royal Court, Museo del Prado, 2014, p. 240).

Technical data

Inventory number
Giaquinto, Corrado
Allegory of Justice and Peace
1753 - 1754
Height: 216 cm; Width: 325 cm
Royal Collection (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, paso del cuarto del infante don Antonio, 1772, nº 998; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, antecámara de las señoras infantas, 1794, nº 988; Palacio Real, Madrid, cuarto de la camarera, 1814-1818, nº 998).

Bibliography +

Inventario Nuevo Palacio Real 1772., Madrid, 1772, pp. nº 13161.

D'Orsi, Mario, Corrado Giaquinto, Societa Dante Alighieri, Roma, 1958, pp. 105.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Ponz, Antonio, Viage de España, VI, Madrid, 1972, pp. 40.

Urrea Fernández, Jesús, La pintura italiana del siglo XVIII en España, Secretariado de Publicaciones de la Universidad, Valladolid, 1977, pp. 127.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 243.

Portela Sandoval, Francisco Jose, La pintura del siglo XVIII, Vicens-Vives, Barcelona, 1990, pp. 95, lám. 21.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. 301.

Luna, Juan José, Pintura europea del siglo XVIII: guía, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1997, pp. 94.

Triadó, Joan-Ramon, La Pintura Española. El Siglo de Oro, Carroggio, Barcelona, 1999, pp. 169.

Spinosa, Nicola, Corrado Giaquinto 'La Justicia y la Paz' En:, Caravaggio to Canaletto. The glory of Italian Baroque and Rococó painting, Szépmuvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 2013, pp. 370-371 n.116.

Maurer, G, Corrado Giaquinto 'Allegory of Justice and Peace' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 240.

Pérez de Tudela, Almudena, 'El traje en la corte de Felipe II. Las infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia y Catalina Micaela' En: Vestir a la española en las cortes europeas (siglos XVI y XVII), I, CEEH, Madrid, 2014, pp. 321-362 [338-339 f.10].

Rey Recio, Mª Jesús, La Real Academia de San Fernando, Cesare Ripa y las alegorías fundacionales, Academia. Boletín de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, 122-123, 2020-2021, pp. 85-103 [94-95 f.5].

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1089.
Corrado. / 1069. Alegoria. / Una joven reina, que pudiera representar a Astrea, esta abrazada a la Paz, a cuyo benefico influjo espira la discordia, sustituyendo en su lugar la justicia y la abundancia. / Alto 7 pies, 9 pulg; ancho 12 pies.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1089.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 119.
119.-Alegoría. / Alto 2,16. Ancho 3,35.-Lienzo. / Una reina joven, que podrá representar á Astrea, está abrazada á la Paz, á cuyo benéfico influjo espira la Discordia é imperan la Justicia y la Abundancia. Varios geniecillos simbolizan los beneficios que alcanza todo Estado regido por los preceptos de la sagrada Thémis: unos asaetean y derrocan á la Furia y entregan á las llamas sus emblemas; otros inundan la escena de toda clase de frutos, y bajo su mágico ascendiente aparecen asociadas la Inocencia y la Fuerza, representadas por un cordero y un leon unidos.-Figuras de tamaño natural.-Firmado

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 998.
Paso del quarto dek Infante Don Antonio [...] {13161} 998 / Retiro = La Paz y la Justicia de quatro varas de largo y tres de caida original de Conrado

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 998.
Cuarto de la Camarera / {22136} 998 / Cuatro varas de largo tres de alto, la Paz y la abundancia con varios genios quemando las armas y al otro lado otros genios con espigas un leon y el cordero = Corrado

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 988.
Antecamara de las Sªs. Ynfantas [...] {427} 988 / Quatro varas de largo por dos y media de alto: Astrea y la Paz abrazadas y un Genio que destruye la Guerra. Corrado ... 30.000

Inscriptions +

Corrado Giaquinto
Signed. Front, lower left area

Inscribed in white. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Caravaggio to Canaletto. Two Centuries of Italian Masterpieces. Budapest
25.10.2013 - 16.02.2014

Location +

Room 021 (On Display)

Update date: 08-06-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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