National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Triumph of Camillus Biagio d'Antonio and Workshop
Biagio d'Antonio (painter)
Florentine, c. 1446 - 1516
Anonymous Artist (painter)
Biagio d'Antonio (related artist)
Florentine, c. 1446 - 1516
The Triumph of Camillus, c. 1470/1475
tempera on panel
overall: 60.1 × 154.3 cm (23 11/16 × 60 3/4 in.) framed: 81.4 x 175.3 x 9.8 cm (32 1/16 x 69 x 3 7/8 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1939.1.153
On View
From the Tour: Patrons and Artists in Late 15th-Century Florence
Object 3 of 8

Subjects like this one, taken from the writings of the ancient Roman author Livy, displayed the learning and sophistication of Renaissance patrons and were especially popular in domestic settings. The size of this painting suggests that it was probably displayed like a frieze with other panels in the home of a wealthy Florentine family.

Here, the Roman senate honors the hero Camillus with a triumphal parade through Rome. Camillus returned from exile to rescue Rome from besieging Gauls. When informed that the city was ready to capitulate by paying off the enemy, Camillus stirred his troops and fellow citizens with powerful rhetoric. "With iron," he said, "and not with gold, Rome buys her freedom." This spirit of republican virtue appealed to fifteenth-century Florentines, who regarded ancient Rome as a paradigm for their own city. The scene's relevance was enhanced by its contemporary costumes and other familiar details. The decorated parade floats recalled the lavish spectacle of processions in Florence. The battered and blood-stained walls of the city enclose several buildings that could be recognized in Rome, including the dome of the Pantheon and the drums of Castel Sant'Angelo. The heraldic colors that drape the horses probably belonged to the painting's patron, as yet unidentified.

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