Corrado Giaquinto: Spain pays homage to Religion and to the Church (1759)
(Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)
a painting by the Italian artist Corrado Giaquinto (1703-1765) which was a study for part of a set for the Royal Palace of Madrid. The set honors the Spanish Monarchy and in this one its shows the 'historical mission of the Spanish Monarchy to serve and defend religion'. In the center are two seated women at an altar. The woman on the left with the veil and cross is Religion - her white veil which hides her face represents religion’s incomprehensible mysteries. The crowned woman on the right at the altar is the Catholic Church while an angel behind her shows the papal tiara. The palm-and-laurel wreath ring which is above the two women have allegorical representations of the virtues associated with Catholicism (from left to right) :
Truth who uphols a golden coin - which is a prerogative of Catholic faith;
Strength (in armor) - which sustains truth;
Vigilance (with a rooster) - insuring obedience to God’s laws;
Reason - which vanquishes passion;
Counsel (the old man) - which guides Christians to their salvation.
The coat-of-arms at the top is that of the Spanish monarchy while the white dove in the center of the palm-and-laurel wreath ring is the Holy Spirit.
Spain is represented by the woman in armor and helmet with a arrow in her left hand and who if offering wheat, a shield and armor to Religion and the Church. Behind Spain are the virtues associated with Spain: Prudence, Steadfastness, Justice and Religious Zeal
At the lower part of the painting several continents are represented. The black woman who is petting a griffin is Africa. The small group of a woman and camel is Asia while America is the woman in the right corner, she is fleeing from the rays of light emanating from the Holy Spirit. Somewhat right of Africa is Fame (the angel with trumpet) which announces the virtues and victories of the Spanish monarchy to the world. Painting from 1759.