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Lucrezia Romana

Lucrezia Romana

il Giampietrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli)

Giampietrino is recorded in a manuscript by Leonardo de Vinci as “gian pietro,” one of the artists working in the master’s circle. Leonardo’s presence in Milan between 1482 and 1499 and again from 1508 to 1513 exerted strong influence over painters who were working in the north Italian city. Giampietrino’s works are characterized by carefully painted luminous figures derived from Leonardo’s models, especially his celebrated painting of Leda and the Swan, which, though destroyed in the seventeenth century, is known through copies. Note how the face and body of Lucretia are painted against the dark background with a smoke-like or sfumato effect blurring the contours, a novel painting technique that was introduced by Leonardo. The figure is also rendered in an accentuated S-curve pose, called contrapposto. The subject of this painting is the story of the patrician matron Lucretia who was the victim of rape by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the tyrannical ruler of Rome. This tragic event is recounted by the ancient Roman historian Livy. The painting depicts the moment of Lucretia’s subsequent suicide. She embodies the female virtues of chastity and honor highly regarded in antiquity and in the Renaissance. This work is an example of the importance of ancient Roman texts as sources for visual artists in this period.
il Giampietrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli)
(Italian, active ca. 1495 – 1553)
Lucrezia Romana
ca. 1515-1521
Oil on wood panel
37 3/4 x 28 1/2 in. Overall
Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Accession No.


Marquess Costantino Guidi (Cesena Italy or Faenza, Italy)[1]; Attilio Simonetti (Rome, Italy)[2]; 10 July 1950, sold by Alessandro Contini -Bonacossi (Rome and Florence, Italy) to Samuel H. Kress (New York, NY); September 1961, gifted by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (New York, NY) to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; 1967, transferred to the Elvehjem Art Center [now called Chazen Museum of Art]. [1] Two sales of the Guidi collection were held: one at Sangiorgi in Rome on 21-27 April 1902; the other one in Florence at Galardelli and Mazzoni on 14 April 1910. This painting is not identifiable in either sale. [2] A sale of the Simonetti collection was held at G. Tavazzi, Rome, April 25-May 6 1932 after his death. This painting is not identifiable in the sale.

  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection." Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, 1990. no. 23
  • National Gallery of Art Library. “Image Collections.” NGA Library - Image Collections. National Gallery of Art Library. Accessed September 24, 2020.

  • 16th Century Masterpieces from Three Madison Collections: Madison Art Association, 11/13/1963–12/3/1963

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