Late 18th Century
The Allegory of Minerva

Sanguine chalk on paper
Image size: 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches (19 x 24 cm)
Acid free mount

This is a sanguine chalk sketch after a print made by the French artist Francois Perrier in 1632. It features Minerva, whom is carrying a globe and a laurel branch, leading a young man in Roman armour, probably Louis XIII, to the Temple of Glory.

Minerva was one of the most important of the ancient Greek and Roman goddesses. She was originally the goddess of wisdom and warfare, hence her helmet here. She was understood to have fought on behalf of just causes and was therefore a civilising influence, in contrast to the God Mars. By being associated with wisdom she became the patron of a number of institutions of learning and the arts.