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A 'Triumph of Love' by Frans Francken the Younger; From Allegory to Narrative

Edith Wyss
Artibus et Historiae
Vol. 19, No. 38 (1998), pp. 43-60
Published by: IRSA s.c.
DOI: 10.2307/1483586
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1483586
Page Count: 18
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A 'Triumph of Love' by Frans Francken the Younger; From Allegory to Narrative
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Abstract

The article investigates a little known painting by Frans Francken the Younger dating most likely from the 1620s. For many figures in the crowded panel the artist relied on prototypes provided by the cycles of illustrations to Ovid's "Metamorphoses." However, the general theme of the painting as well as the central motif of Cupid's triumphal chariot do not originate in Ovid's writings but have their source in Petrarch's "Trionfi." An examination of the traditional iconography of the Petrarchan 'Triumph of Love' highlights Francken's originality. He replaced Petrarch's endless procession of desolate lovers by a plethora of narrative scenes of tragic love affairs as told by Ovid. Francken revitalized Petrarch's didactic allegorical lineup of exempla by calling on the narrative verve of Ovid and his illustrators.

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