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Title Aquarius
Collection Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford
Artist School of Pitati, Bonifazio de` (Italian painter, 1487-1553)
Date Earliest about 1510
Date Latest about 1530
Description The painting is one of a series of eight depicting the signs of the zodiac. The figure of Aquarius faces the viewer while gesturing with his left hand and turning back to his zodiacal sign of a figure with a jug. The poetic quality of the landscape reflects the influence of Venetian artists including Giorgione and Titian. The classicising costume and the plinth create a feeling of the ancient Roman and Greek civilisation that inspired Renaissance culture. Astrology was a key part of sixteenth-century culture and it was believed that the planets influenced the course of life.
Current Accession Number P661
Former Accession Number P.E.268
Subject figure; landscape; allegory (Aquarius)
Measurements 21 x 12 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas (laid on board)
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by the seventh Duke of Wellington through the National Art-Collections Fund 1975.
Publications Wright, C., Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Old Master Paintings Executed before c.1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, pp. 102, 232.
Notes p>Related works, inv. nos.: P 656; P 657; P 658; P 659; P 660; P 662; P 663.

This series, with each sign of the zodiac personified and set in the foreground against a landscape, is similar in both composition and style to The Labours of the Months (style of Bonifazio de' Pitati, National Gallery, London).

Rights Owner Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford
Author Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings



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