Federico Barocci's tale of two troys
Neely, Megan Leigh
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Two paintings of Aeneas Fleeing Troy were commissioned by the della Rovere from Federico Barocci in order to further their social and political connections. The original was given to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and then a variant, the only extant version, was presented to Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Although it has long been assumed that they replicated one another closely, a full scale cartoon with a landscape strikingly unlike the Borghese painting suggests that Barocci may have conceived the two versions differently. The first illustrated the scene in the Aeneid, the second with explicitly Roman architecture, was altered to appeal to its Roman recipient. Together the patron and the painter chose a scene that would complement the recipients’ ancestral claims and their interest in Aeneas’ piety. Aeneas Fleeing Troy reveals both the role of the painter in the creation of these diplomatic gifts and how he applied his draughtsmanship and replication process in their execution.