BERTOS, Francesco
(active 1693-1733)

Allegorical Groups Representing the Four Continents: Africa

Bronze, height 64 cm
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

Francesco Bertos created a considerable number of complicated pyramidal groups in a very distinctive, ingenious style that mirrors the lightness and airiness of contemporary Rococo painting in France. Four groups in the Walters Art Museum are allegories of the four continents, of which the world was then thought to consist. All have their names engraved.

In the allegory of Africa, the continent is depicted by people who, in a simple, peaceful way of life, gather grain from the fertile ground. A lion and a snake indicate the African continent.