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A Pagan Sacrifice

A work made of oil paint on tan laid paper, laid down on cream wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil paint on tan laid paper, laid down on cream wove paper.


c. 1645–50


Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Italian, 1609-1664

About this artwork

This monumental painting on paper, formerly in the collection of Lord Kenneth Clark, is a superb example of Castiglione’s mature style. It demonstrates not only the impact of artists he encountered in Rome, such as Rubens and Poussin, but also the audacious technical innovations he initiated, painting fluently with pigment and oil on paper. The obscure pagan subject was undoubtedly aimed at a select and erudite Roman audience.


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Prints and Drawings


Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione


A Pagan Sacrifice


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil paint on tan laid paper, laid down on cream wove paper


57.6 × 42.5 cm (22 11/16 × 16 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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