Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.
After Guido Reni (1575-1642), Italian
The Italian Baroque master Guido Reni's original fresco of Aurora was painted in 1612-14 on commission from Cardinal Scipione Borghese to decorate a garden pavilion at his family's Quirinal Villa (now the Palazzo Rospigliosi-Pallavicini) in Rome. Although less recognized today, the painting was widely considered among the crowning masterworks of the history of art throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In Reni's composition, Aurora, ancient Greek goddess of the dawn, is shown leading the chariot of her brother, the sun god Helios, through the sky, parting the clouds of night before them. Helios is surrounded by the Horae, goddesses of the seasons. The artist's luminous palette and the understated grace of his figures are among the traits for which the original painting has been celebrated since its creation.