Personification of Constancy
73 cm x 63 cm (28 3/4 in. x 24 13/16 in.)
(Florence, Italy, 1596 - 1657, Florence, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Oil on wood panel
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
One of the principal painters of the second quarter of the century in Florence, and the favorite of the Medici family, Dandini epitomizes the basic conservatism of the school and its patrons. Although trained by several of the city’s more progressive painters, he developed a style in the 1630s that is characterized by lucid design, exaggerated geometry, impenetrable psychology, and high finish. The Allegory of Constancy, with its subject precisely following the prescription of Cesare Ripa’s famed book of emblems, is an excellent example of this rather abstract, practically anti-naturalistic style. At one level, this style represents a self-conscious return to the art of the Florentine past, early Mannerism, and the works of Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo in particular. At another, it bespeaks the growing insecurities, intellectualism, and hermeticism of a center and court in decline.