LAMPI, Johann Baptist I
(b. 1751, Romeno, d. 1830, Wien)
Portrait of Catherine II with Allegorical Figures of Strength and Truth1793
Oil on canvas, 290 x 208 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
One of the most famous formal portraits of Catherine II, painted by an Austrian painter, can be interpreted as an allegory of enlightened rule. Knowledge, represented by the books lying on the altar, and the statue of Truth holding a mirror are being directed by the empress in order to increase the might of her realm - its strength (the second figure, holding a column) and power (the lion at the base of the throne).