A finely carved mid-19th century cameo after Guido Reni’s Aurora, possibly Italian, held in a Russian gold brooch mount, Moscow, 1908-1917. The pin and clasp marked with Cyrillic initials SV or Latin initials CB. Dimensions: 2 ½ in h x 2 ½ in w. (5.3 x 6.5 cm); cameo alone: 46 x 58 mm
Guido Reni, Aurora, 1613-14, ceiling fresco (Casino dell’Aurora, Rome)
“Guido Reni’s Aurora was painted in 1614 for the Roman Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1577-1633) for the ceiling of his small summer house known as the Casino dell’Aurora. This smaller house was part of the Cardinal’s larger palace residence on the Quirinal Hill in Rome. The fresco represents Aurora, goddess of the dawn, bringing forth a new day as she leads the way for Apollo, god of light (among many other things), who follows behind in his golden quadriga (a four-horse chariot). […] Apollo, clothed only in a light purple wrap, is enveloped in a warm, golden halo of light. Hovering between Aurora and Apollo is a torch bearing putto (a winged child similar in appearance to Cupid, but not Cupid), identified as Phosphorus, an ancient personification of the Morning Star (detail, below). Elegant female figures, known as Hours, dance alongside the chariot, representing the passage of time, with their diaphanous draperies blown gently by the wind.”
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