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MARCHANDE D'AMOURS.

Cette composition, l'une des plus agréables de celles qui se sont trouvées parmi les peintures antiques, présente une allégorie dont il n'est pas facile de retrouver le sens. Les uns ont cru y voir trois Amours : le premier, encore dans l'ignorance, est au fond d'une cage et cherche à donner l'essor à ses sens; le second exprime ses désirs en étendant les mains vers la beauté; le troisième s'est emparé de la place et paraît maîtriser celle qui l'a adopté. D'autres ont voulu voir l'Amour cherchant à fuir pour se réfugier dans le sein de Vénus, accompagné de la Persuasion. D'autres enfin ont vu dans ces figures deux jeunes beautés timides et embarrassées pour faire choix d'un des Amours que leur présente une femme, et de là est venu le nom de la Marchande d'Amours.

Cette peinture, découverte à Gragnano le 13 juin 1759, est maintenant dans le Musée royal de Naples. La tunique de la jeune fille assise à droite, est d'un bleu céleste, son manteau est vert, et ses cheveux sont ornés d'une bandelette blanche; celle qui tient un Amour par les ailes porte un vêtement jaune; ses deux bras sont couverts d'une espèce de brassarts en étoffe

verte.

Il existe plusieurs gravures de cette charmante composition: l'une est de C. Nolli, la seconde de N. Lemire, et la troisième de F. A. David.

Larg., 2 pieds 7 pouces; haut., 2 pieds 1 pouce.

THE MARKET OF LOVE.

This composition, one of the most agreeable found among the antique paintings, presents an allegory the meaning of which it is not easy to find. Some have thought they discerned in it, three Loves: the first, yet in ignorance, is at the bottom of a cage, endeavouring to take wing; the second expresses his wishes by extending his hands towards beauty; the third has got possession of the market place, and seems to master her, who has adopted him. Others have thought that Love was seeking to flee, to take refuge in the bosom of Venus, who is accompanied by Persuasion. Others again have thought they distinguished in these figures, two timid young beauties, perplexed in the choice of one of the Loves presented to them by a woman: thence is derived the appellation of the Market of

Love.

This painting was discovered June 13, 1759, at Gragnano; and is now in the Royal Museum at Naples. The tunic of the young girl, sitting on the right hand, is of a sky blue, her mantle is green, and her hair is adorned with a white fillet: the one holding a Love by the wings, has a yellow dress, both her arms are covered with a kind of green stuff brassets, or vambraces.

There exist several engravings of this charming composition : one by C. Nolli, the second by N. Lemire, and the third by F. A. David.

Width, 2 feet 9 inches; height, 2 fect 2 inches.

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THE ALDOBRANDINI MARRIAGE.

This celebrated antique painting represents an ancient marriage, with some of the rites practised on such occasions. The husband, almost naked and crowned with a garland of leaves, is sitting on an estrade near the bed; the wife, covered with the flammeum, an ample veil that nearly hides her person, is seated on the bed-side, receiving the advice and consolation of the pronuba, or women who accompanied and directed the bride during the ceremony. Near them is a woman burning incense; perhaps to dissipate malignant charms, against which the ancients were continually on their guard. On the right of the picture, is a priestess dipping her hand in a basin of lustral water, destined for the aspersion of the chamber; with two women, who seem intent upon her action on the opposite side, are three women, who appear to be busied in a sacrifice, during which one of them plays upon the lyre.

This invaluable ancient painting was found, at the close of the XVI. century, in the spot formerly occupied by the gardens of Mecænas, and, by order of Clement VIII., transported to the Aldobrandini palace whence its name, of the Aldobrandini Marriage.

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Width, 6 feet 10 inches? height, 1 foot 9 inches?

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