Youth Tempted by the Vices, Luca Giordano
Luca Giordano
Youth Tempted by the Vices
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Luca Giordano

Youth Tempted by the Vices, 1664

265.9 x 289.9 cm
Physical Description
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1921 as a gift from anonymous donors
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 11


About the Work

The young man is being assailed from all sides. A satyr from Bacchus’ entourage is pouring wine over him; Venus is sprinkling him with milk from her breast. The youth gazes in delight at the enticements of physical love, but Virtue, in the shape of Minerva, protectively holds her shield over him. He does not yet perceive the finiteness of time (Chronos) or the danger emanating from the shepherd Syphilus, who lies before him with a lump on the back of his head. Luca Giordano painted this allegory for a client in Venice, possibly a hospital.

About the Acquisition

For the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, 1921 marked the long-awaited extension of the garden wing, which provided considerably more space for the art. The space was immediately filled, among other things, with the large-scale donation of benefactors who remained anonymous at the time. However, the archives enable us to establish their identity. Almost 100 years after this generous act we are permitted to reveal their names: the benefactors were Dr Ferdinand Dreyfuß and Konsul Dr Kotzenberg. The latter was also an important patron of the newly founded University of Frankfurt.


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