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Parmigianino (Parma 1503-Casalmaggiore 1540)

Pallas Athene c. 1531-8

Oil on canvas | 64.0 x 45.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405765

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An inscription on the brooch identifies this figure as Athena, the goddess of warfare and wisdom and the patron of Athens. Her elongated and idealised features are thrown into bright light, catching the shimmer of her golden locks and the gems on her breastplate and culminating in a breathtaking harmony of elegance and radiance.

Presented to Charles II in 1660 by the States of Holland and West Friesland upon his restoration to the throne