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Diana and Callisto

16th century
40 cm x 132.5 cm (15 3/4 in. x 52 3/16 in.)

Andrea Schiavone (Andrea Meldolla) (Zadar, Croatia, 1527 - 1563, Venice, Italy) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Oil on wood panel
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1362

This lovely panel appears to render the passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which Diana and her nymphs discover that one of their companions, Callisto, has been made pregnant by Jupiter. The exaggerated horizontal format and size indicate that it originally served as part of an interior ensemble or piece of furniture, perhaps a cassone (storage chest) or spalliera (chair back). Especially considering this function, the panel is in excellent condition.

Bonifazio was perhaps the first painter in Venice to explore ways of reconciling the school’s traditional insistence upon more naturalistic representation with Central Italian concerns of the moment: complex design, complicated linear rhythm, and self-conscious elegance. In this exploration of a distinctively Venetian Mannerism, his work anticipated and helped prepare the brilliant researches of Tintoretto and Veronese.

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