Roman Charity : Oil Painting Restoration & CleaningThe apparently bizarre image of a young woman breast feeding an elderly man actually illustrates the highest devotion, or 'charity', she is saving his life! The story comes from the Roman writer, Valerius Maximus, and relates how Pero secretly nourished her father, Cimon, who was starving in prison.
The subject, known as 'Roman Charity' was popular in 17th-century Italy, and this is probably a much later copy of a work of that period. There are hundreds of different paintings of this subject.
This painting was cleaned and as the 19th century retouching was removed the full extent of the underlying painting below was revealed, it was probably Victorian prudishness that the shawl was painted over the man and breast.
|Roman Charity : Oil Painting Restoration & Cleaning|
Roman Charity, Pero and Cimon. The finished restoration.