Allegoria della battaglia di Lepanto

Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto

Paolo Caliari detto Paolo Veronese

Paolo Caliari detto Paolo Veronese
Verona, 1528 - Venezia, 1588
Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto
Canvas, 170 x 137 cm
Acquired following the Napoleonic Suppression, 1812
Hall X

Like the Madonna of the Rosary, now in the Gallerie repositories, this canvas also comes from the Dominican church of San Pietro Martire on Murano, from which it was passed on to the Gallerie following the Napoleonic Suppression. Undertaken in Veronese’s workshop to a drawing by the maestro just after the famous Battle of Lepanto of 1571, the painting celebrates the victory of the Holy League against the Turkish fleet, and in particular the fundamental role played by Venice’s ships in the battle. The Serenissima is depicted as a woman dressed in white, introduced to the Virgin by Saint Justina and Saint Mark, while Saint Peter and Saint Roch are on the left. The divine favour bestowed on the Catholic fleet is underlined by the bright, beneficent rays that single out the victors’ ships while dark shadows seem to inexorably torment the ships of the “enemies”.