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ID number:  BIRBI-51.4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Master of the Griselda Legend (active about 1500)
Title / Object name:  Alexander the Great
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Siena
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1494/5
Materials:  Tempera on wood
Measurements:  105.4 x 50.8 cm
Provenance:  Purchased from the Cook Collection in 1951.
BIRBI-51.4.jpg

Alexander of Macedon (356 - 326BC) is shown as a youthful warrior posed on a pedestal. This is one of a series showing virtuous men and women of antiquity which decorated a palace in Siena. The inscription underlines the moral. ‘I, Alexander, who conquered the whole world with my own strength, shook off the flames of desire from my heart. It is of no avail to rejoice in the outward triumphs of war if the mind lies sick and rages within’. The small scenes in the distance illustrate Alexander’s virtuous behaviour towards the family of Darius whom he had defeated in battle.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed I.c.: ALEXANDER/QUI PROPRIUS TOTUM SUPERAVI VIRIBUS ORBEM/ EXCUSSI FLAMMAS CORDE CUPIDINEAS NIL IVAT EXTERNIS BELLI GAUDERE TRIUMPHIS/SI MENS AEGRA LACET INTERIUS QUE FURIT

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Renaissance Siena: Art for a City', National Gallery, London, UK, 24 October 2007 - 13 January 2008 (no. 65)

1 Related People

Master of the Griselda Legend
Italian


3 Related Publications

Objects of Virtue, Art in Renaissance Italy
Syson, L. and Thornton, D.
The British Museum Press
2001
La Confraternita ritrovata: Benvenuto di Giovanni e Girolamo di Benvenuto nello Spedale Vecchio di Siena
Alessi, Cecilia
Ali edizioni
2003
Masterpieces of Italian Painting: The Walters Art Museum

GILES
2005
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