Lorenzo Lippi (Florence 1606-1665)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 1… Read more Property from the Collection of the late John Appleby
Lorenzo Lippi (Florence 1606-1665)

Consul Gaius Popillius drawing a circle around King Antiochus IV

Details
Lorenzo Lippi (Florence 1606-1665)
Consul Gaius Popillius drawing a circle around King Antiochus IV
oil on canvas
50¼ x 73¾ in. (127.6 x 186.7 cm.)
Literature
C. d'Afflitto, Lorenzo Lippi, Florence, 2002, pp. 146-7, 149 and 294, no. 120, illus., as 'Biblical scene'.
F. Baldassari, La pittura del Seicento a Firenze. Indice degli artisti e delle loro opere, Turin, 2009, pp. 451 and 461, fig. 244.
G. Cantelli, Repertorio della pittura fiorentina del Seicento. Aggiornamento, I, Pontedera, 2009, p. 124, as 'Biblical scene'.
S. Bellesi, Catalogo dei pittori fiorentini del '600 e '700. Biografie e opere, I, Florence, 2009, p. 181, as 'Biblical scene'.
Special notice

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Sale room notice
Please note that this painting is sold without a frame.

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Clemency Henty
Clemency Henty

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Lot Essay

Gaius Popillius Laenas was consul of the Roman Republic in 172 and 158 BC. He was sent as an envoy to prevent a war between Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of the Selucid Empire, and Egypt. Gaius Popillius asked Antiochus not to attack Alexandria; not receiving an immediate decision, he drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus, forbidding him to step out until he received a firm answer.

When published in 2002, this painting was seen as an important addition to the artist's mature oeuvre, characterized by a simple and spacious composition, almost theatrical in the two juxtaposed groups of figures. Chiara d'Afflitto (op. cit.), who describes this painting and the Erminia in the Museo Rospigliosi in Pistoia as 'una delle testimonianze più alte della sua produzione artistica', proposes a date around the late 1650s. A preparatory drawing for the male figure standing in the background is in the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenaghen (inv. GB4727).

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