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Title Gemini
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. Here the figure of Gemini is shown in contrapposto turning to face the viewer, while gesturing at two gold figures which represent the zodiacal sign. The poetic quality of the landscape reflects the influence of Venetian artists including Giorgione and Titian. The figure's classicising costume and the plinth create a sense 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 P660
Former Accession Number P.E.267
Subject figure; landscape; allegory (Gemini)
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.

Related works, inv. nos.: P 656; P 657; P 658; P 659; P 661; 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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