Western Archive

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Francesco Albani, an exponent of the classical ideal, chose a format for his four tondos which, in his own words, “softened” his pictorial expression. The subject matter is taken from Philostratus (Eikones I,6) who describes the games of cupids throughout the four seasons: throwing apples in spring, the fiery furnace of summer, Venus and Adonis taking their farewell in autumn and sleep in winter.

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This scene is a detail of the fresco cycle in the Room of the Ark. Billowing clouds of aromatic incense surround the Ark of the Covenant, which is being carried in a solemn procession into the city of Jerusalem. The high priest of the Temple leads the pageant with the tabernacle containing the sacred Tablets of the Law.

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