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Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, with female companions engaged in needlework


RCIN 904762

This drawing shows a variety of activities relating to making and decorating fabric. One woman uses a spinning wheel to produce thread, while another makes bobbin lace. Two types of embroidery are also shown, one using a cushion as a support (left) and another using an embroidery frame (centre). Such activities were used to symbolise a life of domestic virtue. This is a preparatory drawing for an engraving by Theodor Galle, in an untitled series dedicated to Roman history.

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