Kumskaya Sibyl by Domenichino

Kumskaya Sibyl by Domenichino

In this picture, the artist, for whom antiquity represented an inexhaustible source of inspiration, depicted the Cuma sibyl, one of the ancient Roman seers who were called in their place of residence.

An ancient myth tells that the girl who fell in love with Apollo gave her the ability to predict and the opportunity to live for a thousand years, but she forgot to ask her eternal youth. Domenichino portrayed her as young, blooming, with a blush on her cheeks and pouting lips, dressed in a rich turban and a gorgeous dress, with a viola standing nearby. The girl holds a scroll in her hand, her prophecies are written on her, and she opens the book, where she also told about the fate of the world.

The appearance of the young Sibyl is full of trembling, because she knows secrets, inaccessible to others, and also because the painter obviously admired his model, with which he wrote the ancient heroine. At the same time, in her pose, calm gestures of hands, inner greatness is felt. The desire for high harmony of the image, expressed here, was peculiar to the art of classicism, one of the immediate precursors of which was the master.

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