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
  • Great Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Pictures of Sibyls enjoyed enormous favour in Italian baroque art, since
    they provided artists with a legitimate excuse to depict beautiful young women in exotic dress. The Bolognese artist Domenichino is known to have painted at least two other Sibyls: one with an attribute of music and another holding a Greek scroll (both in Rome, in the Pinacoteca Capitolina and the Borghese Gallery). The three closely-related works depict richly-attired women with elaborate headdresses. The Wallace Collection picture exhibits greater freedom of touch and is generally considered to be earlier, and to date
    from around 1620.
    The picture belonged to the Regent of France, Philippe duc d’Orléans
    (1674 – 1723), and later to his descendant Philippe-Égalité, 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.