06 September 2009


I have written before about the life of Coriolanus as told by Livy and Plutarch and about Shakespeare's use of Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus. Irene Hahn of Roman History Books and More has written about Coriolanus in the arts, something I'd like to expand on.

Some time between 1495 and 1510 Michele da Verona painted Coriolanus Persuaded By His Family To Spare Rome, which is now in London's National Gallery. Towards the end of that period Luca Signorelli painted a fresco with the same title, also now in the National Gallery.

In the first half of the 17th century Nicolaus Knupfer produced a drawing of Coriolanus Receiving Roman Matrons, which is now in the British Museum. In the second quarter of the 17th century Bartolomeo Biscaino produced a painting of , which was sold in 2005, presumably to a private collection.

Poussin produced the above picture, Coriolanus Supplicated by His Mother, in 1650. It is now in Les Andelys's Musée Nicolas Poussin. (image from aiwaz.net used by permission)

Filippo Abbiati's picture Coriolanus Persuaded By His Family To Raise the Siege of Rome was painted in 1661 and is now in a private collection after being sold in 1996. In 1674 Gerbrand van den Eeckhout painted "Volumnia Before Coriolanus", now in Oregon's Portland Art Museum (it can be seen in this gallery view directly underneath the gallery name on the wall).

Around 1730, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo painted the above picture of Coriolanus, which is now in St. Petersburg's State Hermitage. (public domain picture from arthermitage.org)

In the 1780s, Giuseppe Bernadino Bison drew a picture of Coriolanus and the women of Rome which is now in Washington's National Gallery of Art.

In 1831 Jacques-Raymond Brascassat painted a more rural view of Coriolanus and his mother, now in the Monte Carlo Museum (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

In 1860 George Frederick Watts produced this study for a fresco in Bowood House. I have not been able to track down the location of the study so I assume it's in a private collection. More studies can be seen at London's Watts Gallery (search for Coriolanus). (public domain image from museumsyndicate.com)

The above statue of Virgilia by Thomas Woolner was produced in 1871 and is in Strawberry Hill, London. (wikimedia image used under GNU Free Documentation Licence)


Chris Ann Matteo said...

Couldn't help but notice that you're reading /Adam Bede/. Now that's a novel that I've always wanted to write an article about! Love it. Can't wait to read your responses to it.

RWMG said...

I'll have to see what I can do. I'll probably review it on FB, though my reviews tend to be fairly impressionistic rather than highly detailed.

I did try and read "Adam Bede" before but didn't get very far. But then someone gave me "Scenes of Clerical Life", which I hugely enjoyed, so I'm giving AB another go.

Gary Corby said...

I love the artwork you produce and the stories about it. How did you come to be so knowledgable?

RWMG said...

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm not really knowledgable. I'm just a dab hand with Google and enjoy tracking things down.