Fidelity

Fidelity
Artist:
Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian, 1439-1501/02)
Date:
c. 1485
Medium:
Fresco transferred to canvas, mounted on wood panel 
Dimensions:
49-1/2 x 29-3/4 in. (125.7 x 75.6 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1965.1.022.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View
Description

A painter, sculptor, architect and military engineer, Francesco di Giorgio typified the ideal of the Renaissance man. As the outstanding artistic personality in Siena during the first half of the fifteenth century, he chose a style that combined the refined elegance of the Sienese tradition with the most forward-looking innovations of the Florentine school.

This fresco, transferred to canvas, exemplifies a popular interior decoration of the Renaissance: the cycle of famous persons and the allegorical personifications of the virtues. Here, Faith is identified by the collared dog ("fidelitas") on which she stands, a symbol of fidelity. The pair exchange a devoted glance as Faith points heavenward with her right hand and to the dog with her left. This image implies that the trust and loyalty shared between a master and servant also exists between God and the devout.

Provenance:

Maurice Leclanché, Paris (sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 23-25 May 1892, lot 47, ill., as Ecole Florentine, Figure allégorique de la Fidélité, to);
Georges Chalandon, Paris, still in 1905.
R. Langton Douglas, London (1864-1951).
Otto H. Kahn, New York (d. 1924);
Mogmar Art Foundation, New York, sold 6 September 1949 to;
[Duveen Bros., New York, orig. stock no. 12764, stock no. 30093, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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