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The Genius of Castiglione

A work made of etching in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching in black on ivory laid paper.


1645–47, published 1648


Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (Italian, 1609-1664)
published by Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi (Italian, 1627–1691)

About this artwork

Reflecting on his own prolific creativity, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione creates a rich allegory. Fame is personified as a reclining half-nude male youth holding a trumpet. In the upper left, a winged infant blows a horn and points to a crown of laurel leaves, a symbol of immortality. Futility (foul and rabbit) and artistic creativity (pallet, brushes, and sheet music) are at Fame’s feet.
Heralded as one of the most creative etchers in Italy, Castiglione was inspired by Dutch artists’ work, particularly the etchings of Rembrandt van Rijn, whose prints were imported from Amsterdam to Genoa by Dutch dealers.


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Prints and Drawings


Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione


The Genius of Castiglione


Italy (Artist's nationality)


Published 1648


Etching in black on ivory laid paper


37 × 24.2 cm (14 5/8 × 9 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Joseph Brooks Fair Collection

Reference Number


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