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Overview

Adriaen de Vries won international fame for active bronze figures that reflect both his study of nature and his training in Florence with Giovanni Bologna, the greatest 16th-century sculptor after Michelangelo. De Vries's complicated poses continued the style known as mannerism, but he also saw ancient bronze sculpture as a model to surpass. He devised this group for Emperor Rudolph II, who had appointed him court sculptor in Prague in 1601. The figures were cast in one pour, a feat the emperor, fascinated with transformations in metal and other materials, would have appreciated. De Vries gave psychological force to this allegory through the rippling tension of the figures and the gaze that passes between them.

Inscription

on base: ADRIANUS FRIES FE 1610

Provenance

Peter A.B. Widener [1834-1915], Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; gift 1942 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1988
Prag um 1600: Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Rudolps II, Kulturstiftung Ruhr, Villa Hügel, Essen-Bredeney, Federal Republic of Germany; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria, 1988, no. 60, repro.
1993
Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art 1580-1620, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1993-1994, no. 182, repro., as Allegory of the Triumph of Virtue over Vice.
1997
Rudolf II and Prague: The Imperial Court and Residential City as the Cultural and Spiritual Heart of Central Europe, Prague Castle Picture Gallery, 1997, no. I.129.
1998
Adriaen de Vries (1556-1626), imperial sculptor, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; J. Paul Getty Mus., Los Angeles, 1998-2000, no. 24, repro., as Allegory of Imperium triumphant over Avaritia (shown only in Stockholm and Los Angeles)
2013
L'Europe de Rubens, Musée du Louvre-Lens, 2013, no. 140, repro.
Bibliography
1942
Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 9, as Virtue and Vice.
1948
Paintings and Sculpture from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1948 (reprinted 1959): 157, repro., as Virtue and Vice.
1949
Seymour, Charles. Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1949: 182, note 48, repro. 147, 149-151, as Virtue and Vice.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): pl. 54
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 173, as Virtue and Vice.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 153, repro., as Virtue and Vice.
1968
Seymour, Charles, Jr. "The Mercury in the Rotunda of the National Gallery of Art." Studies in the History of Art (1968-69):1-25, repro.
1978
Kaufmann, Thomas Dacosta. "Empire Triumphant: Notes on an Imperial Allegory by Adriaen de Vries." Studies in the History of Art vol. 8 (1978):63-75, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 639, no. 1004, repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 296, repro.
1994
Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 235, repro.
2000
National Gallery of Art Special Issue. Connaissance des Arts. Paris, 2000: repro. 58, 59, 61.