Allegory of Wisdom, Disciple of Giacomo Bertesi, Early 18th century

Disciple of Giacomo Bertesi
Allegory of Wisdom
Early 18th century


The carved and painted wood sculpture depicts the allegory of Wisdom as a young woman standing above a low parallelepiped; she wears a long, pliant tunic fastened at the waist by a knotted belt and a drape that falls over her shoulders. A large closed volume is held between the bust and the left arm, while in the opposite hand he holds a lighted torch above his head. The face is turned upwards, the hair gathered in a bun above the nape, from which a flowing lock escapes.

Dimensions: h 176 cm


Historical-critical analysis:

As indicated in the report drawn up by Giuseppe Sava, the carved female figure represents the allegory of Wisdom, according to the indications codified by Cesare Ripa in his Iconology.

Of decidedly Baroque taste, the sculpture can be dated to the early eighteenth century and can be placed in Cremona, by the hand of an artist who must have known the work of Giacomo Bertesi (1643-1710), one of the most famous carvers of the time. In particular, the chiaroscuro play and the folds that open like a fan betray the knowledge of some of his late bas-reliefs preserved in the Civic Museum of Cremona, while maintaining a more monumental and solemn conception that also refer to his most ancient works.

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