MANTEGNA, Andrea
(b. 1431, Isolate di Cartura, d. 1506, Mantova)

Introduction of the Cult of Cybele to Rome (detail)

1505-06
Tempera on canvas
National Gallery, London

On the right of the painting a private house is depicted, on the steps of which a musician in oriental dress is standing, playing a pipe and a drum. A band attached to his ruff bears the letters SPQR, the Latin abbreviation for the Roman senate. The trumpet of a second musician is projecting from the entrance to the house, a compositional device indicating that the action is continuing beyond the picture frame.




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