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Prudence

European Art

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Prudence

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Vittore Carpaccio
Italian, 1460–1526

Date

ca. 1525

Medium

Oil on wood panel

Accession #

58.36

Dimensions

42 5/8 x 21 3/4 inches

Location

Description

This pair of allegorical paintings was probably part of a quartet of panels illustrating the Four Cardinal Virtues (the other two are Justice and Fortitude). Here we see Temperance pouring liquid from one vessel into another—presumably diluting wine with water to suggest moderation, especially in the use of intoxicating liquor. Prudence holds a mirror, a means of both observing the truth and divining the future, to suggest the qualities of wisdom and self-discipline.

Credit

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

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