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Piero del Pollaiolo or Pollaiuolo (Florence 1441 - Rome 1496)

1469 - 1472
A10. I Pollaiolo
Tempera grassa on wood
168 x 90.5 cm
1890 n. 495

Hope is shown as a young woman dressed in green, looking up to the heavens, in prayer. Unlike the other Virtues in the seven paintings (Faith, Charity, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice), it has no other attributes except for the ecstatic face of the woman, giving herself up to God, which is sufficiently explanatory.

This piece is part of a cycle of paintings dedicated to the Virtues and commissioned from Piero del Pollaiolo in 1469. They were painted for the Audience Chamber in the Tribunale di Mercanzia in Piazza della Signoria, Florence. The cycle was completed before March 1472, when a wood merchant was paid to provide a frame that would keep the seven paintings together.

The Tribunale di Mercanzia was the body that decided on the business disputes between Florentine merchants and administered justice among the guilds, known as the Arts. In the 18th century, the wealth and heritage of this judiciary went to the Chamber of Commerce, including the seven paintings of the Virtues, taken to the Uffizi Galleries in 1777.

Text by
Daniela Parenti
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