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Shepherdess with ram
 
17th Century
Tommaso SALINI
Shepherdess with ram
[Pastorella con ariete]
Unknown
Oil on canvas
160.5 x 112 cm  [HxW]
Private Collection
 

Tommaso Salini was a contemporary rival of Caravaggio and his influence can be seen in the strong light, which enhances the solidity of the figures. Mars the God of War is represented here by the ram of the Zodiac and was often depicted this way in pastoral scenes associated with the month of March. Salini may also be suggesting a religious connection, as the Virgin Mother is traditionally shown wearing blue and red.

 
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