TESTA, Pietro
(b. 1611, Lucca, d. 1650, Roma)

The Prodigal Son Tending the Swine

c. 1645
Etching, 202 x 301 mm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco

Pietro Testa's preferred medium was etching, which was more suitable than painting to express his fantastic mythological and symbolic conceptions. His etchings have an abstruse emblematic quality and poetical charm only matched by his Genoese contemporary Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.

The etching shows the Prodigal Son, in rags, seated beneath a tree, praying, tending swine.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.