The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
A Sibyl
  • Domenichino (1581 - 1641)
  • A Sibyl
  • Italy
  • early 1620s
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 77.4 x 68.2 cm
    Object size: 100.5 x 92.5 x 8.5 cm
  • P131
  • Dining Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Pictures of Sibyls enjoyed great favour in Italian baroque art as they provided artists with a respectable excuse to depict beautiful young women in exotic dress. Domenichino is known to have painted at least two other Sibyls: one with an attribute of Music and another holding a Greek scroll, now respectively in the Pinacoteca Capitolina and the Borghese Gallery, Rome. The three closely related works depict attractive women in rich exotic costumes with elaborate head-dresses. The picture belonged to the Regent of France, Philippe duc d’Orléans (1674-1723) and later to his descendant Philippe-Egalité, duc d’Orléans (1747-93). It was bought by the 4th Marquess of Hertford ‘as much for the frame as for the picture’ at the sale of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham in 1848 (the frame the painting was purchased in may be that now on Emilian School P541).