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Camassei, Andrea
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Camassei, Andrea

Bevagna, Perugia, 1602 - Roma, 1649


Ca. 1635. Oil on canvas, 238 x 366 cm.

Lupercalia was a festival involving sacrifices to the two deities associated, respectively, with fecundity and childbirth: Pan and Lucina. As part of the celebrations, the men whipped their wives to make them more fecund. Two young musicians close to the scene of the sacrifice to the gods, as well as the statue on the altar itself, carry wind instruments characteristic of this type of festivity.

Within the large series of paintings dedicated to the history of Rome, this work and Meleager’s Hunt (P2320) belong to a small group of scenes from mythology and the history of Antiquity. This is undoubtedly the most mysterious group in the series -so much so, that the subject matter of some of its paintings has yet to be identified today. Such is the case, for example, with Masinisa Lamenting the Death of Sofonisba (P2280). Moreover, neither the significance of this group as a whole, nor its relation to the rest of the series is clear.

In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish the existence of a series of paintings related to the History of Rome -including the present work- that Philip IV’s representatives would have commissioned in that city and in Naples around 1634 for the Buen Retiro Palace. Today, twenty-eight extant works can be related to this project (most in the Museo del Prado or Patrimonio Nacional), along with another six mentioned in Charles II’s will but now lost or destroyed. This total of thirty-four paintings constitutes the largest group from the Retiro, including the Hall of Realms. The only larger group consists of mythological scenes that the king’s brother, Cardinal-Infante don Fernando, commissioned Rubens to paint for the Torre de la Parada. The size of the Roman group is the first indication of its importance in the new palace (Text drawn from Úbeda de los Cobos, A. in: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, pp. 169-170; 180-182).

Technical data

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Inventory number
Camassei, Andrea
Ca. 1635
High/Height: 238 cm.; Width: 366 cm.
Historia de Roma Antigua, Palacio del Buen Retiro
Royal Collection (Royal Palace, Madrid, secretaría de Estado, 1814-1818, no. 174)

Bibliography +

Voss, Hermann, Die Malerei des Barock in Rom, PropylaenVerlag, Berlín, 1924, pp. 238.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965, pp. 265, 324, 325.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del siglo XVII: exposición conmemorativa del ciento cincuenta aniversario de la fundación del Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid, 1970, pp. 102.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc, Nueva York. Londres, 1986, pp. ?/ lám. 711.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. ?.

Úbeda de los Cobos, Andrés, El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 180-182.

Goeppert, S., Pablo Picasso. The Illustrated Books : Catalogue Raisonne, Patrick Cramer, Madrid, 2005, pp. 180-182.

Other inventories +

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 174.
Secretaría de Estado [...] {22223} 174 / 4 varas y media de largo 3 de alto un sacrificio de la gentilidad y dos hombres en accion de castigar a vnas mujeres = Andres Saqui

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1627.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1627.
P. de Cortona. / 1627. Fiesta en honor de Lucina. / Instituyeron los romanos estas fies- / tas llamadas Lupercales, y en ellas / flagelaban los hombres à sus mugeres / para que fuesen fecundas. La estatua de / Pan alude a la fecundidad de la natura- / leza, de la cual era el dios; asi como / Juno presidía à los partos bajo el nom- / bre de Lucina / Alto 8 pies, 6 pulg; ancho 13 pies, 1 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 142.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 122.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1933. Núm. 122.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Update date: 07-02-2018 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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