BERTOS, Francesco
(active 1693-1733)

Allegorical Groups Representing the Four Continents: Asia

Bronze, height 63 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 Asia, an older man carries a beautiful young woman and figures in dance-like movements surround them. They hold pieces of coral, plants, and spices. This limited view of a vast continent contrasts markedly with the complexity of the representation of America.