Museums and Art

“Forge of Hephaestus”, Giorgio Vasari - description of the painting

“Forge of Hephaestus”, Giorgio Vasari - description of the painting

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Forge of Hephaestus - Giorgio Vasari. 38x28 cm

Giorgio Vasari's painting “The Forge of Hephaestus” has another name “Forge of the Volcano”. Two names are absolutely equal, since we are talking about the same mythological character, the Greek god of fire, the patron saint of the blacksmithing Hephaestus, referred to in mythology by the Romans as Vulcan.

This picture is quite complex and narrative. It is impossible not to notice that the multi-figure of the painting was designed by Vasari in a certain rhythm, leading the viewer into the depths of the work.

The plot is as follows: Minerva came to the forge of Hephaestus to forge her armor. In the hands of her sketch drawing, which she shows the blacksmith. Hephaestus himself is busy with a shield, and the helpers carry the recognizable helmet of Minerva (among the Greeks Athena). The goddess is written in the nude genre, like other characters in the picture. Curved postures of people - a characteristic silhouette of mannerism, which includes Vasari.

Behind the gods, work is boiling - metals are melting, furnaces are burning, hammers are knocking. A careful look will catch the incorrectness in the image of the human body, and will be right. Vasari scolded a lot for anatomical inconsistencies. However, he himself can be seen very closely - it is he who sits naked at the shield. Another real character is standing at the anvil with a hammer, so Vasari portrayed his contemporary, sculptor, painter and jeweler, Benvenuto Cellini.

The work has a hidden meaning - it is written as a response to a political event: in 1564, patrons of Vasari, representatives of Medecha, Cosimo and Francesco were judged. On the shield of Athena you can see the image of Capricorn and Aries, and these are the signs of the zodiac Cosimo I and Francesco I, respectively.

The painting, painted in copper oil, was exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery in 1589, since then it has not changed its “residence permit”.

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