(b. 1431, Isola di Cartura, d. 1506, Mantova)

Pallas Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue

Tempera on canvas, 160 x 192 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting was commissioned by Isabella d'Este for her studiolo in the Palazzo Ducale, Mantua where she kept her collection of small luxury objects. Isabella's court advisor, the poet Paride da Ceresara, devised a program of classical allegories for the room, one of which was awarded to Mantegna. The painting is crammed with anecdotal detail and communicate allegorically rather than historically. The theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) appear in the cloud in the upper right corner of the painting.