Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts to Emperor Augustus
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770
Oil on canvas; 69.5 x 89 cm
Commissioned by Count Francesco Algarotti, this painting glorifies the life and work of Count Heinrich von Bruhl, for whom it was intended. A court minister, well-known collector and
connoisseur of paintings, Bruhl held a similar post at the court of Augustus III, King of Poland, to that of Maecenas under the Roman Emperor Augustus. Three female figures, accompanied by
Homer personifying poetry, are allegories of the Liberal Arts - Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. In his correspondence, Algarotti mentions that in the background Tiepolo depicted Bruhl's
Dresden palace with its hanging garden. Algarotti kept a watercolour copy of the painting in his house.