The Continence of Scipio
by Giovanni BelliniWashington, D. C., National Gallery of Art
Mantegna was able to complete only the first of the projected cycle, The Introduction of the Cult of Cybele in Rome, before his death in 1506.
Upon Mantegna's death, the Cornaro patron turned to Mantegna's equally celebrated brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini, to execute, with his studio, The Continence of Scipio, perhaps based on a drawing by Mantegna. Today the painting (oil on canvas, 74.8 x 356.2 cm.) is in the Samuel H. Kress collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. (See P. F. Brown, Venice and Antiquity [New Haven, 1996], pp. 252-5.) The painting is sometimes alternatively captioned An Episode from the Life of Publius Cornelius Scipio.
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