Lesbia Mourning her Sparrow
(Angelo Caroselli)


The subject of the picture is taken from a poem by Catullus, the gifted and precocious young poet from Verona, who fell in love with Clodia, the wife of the consul Metellus Celer, governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Disguised as ‘Lesbia’ in the poetry, Clodia is believed to have led Cattullus to Rome around 62 bc where at the centre of a dazzling and sophisticated society, the poet celebrated his mistress’ beauth and intelligence, sharing with her a touch of light grief at the death of her pet sparrow in the famous ‘Lygete, O Veneres Cupidinesque’. The Death of Lesbia’s Sparrow is a theme taken up by Victorian artists, such as Lawrence Alma-Tadems, in the 1860’s and 70’s.

38 x 53 inches
Oil on canvas
Historical Period
Baroque - 1600-1720
Italian - Roman
Price band
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