Giorgio Vasari

A candle in hand, crowned with a halo of light, the winged personification of eternity sits astride a globe in the celestial sphere. Vasari enhanced the drawing’s luminosity with his virtuosic technique, overlaying discrete yet tightly packed strokes of white opaque watercolor on blue paper. The artist made the drawing for a ceiling fresco decorating the refectory of the monastery church of Monteoliveto in Naples. The study is typical of the allegorical imagery that Vasari developed in the early 1540s and to which he would return throughout his career.

Giorgio Vasari
Italian, 1511–1574
Allegory of eternity, 1544–45
Pen and brown ink, and brush and brown wash, over black chalk, heightened with white opaque
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.871
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department