Oil painting in canvas, The Cumaean Sibyl, studio of Guercino (Cento 1591 ? Bologna 1666). The twelve pagan sibyls, or Apollo's classical priestesses at Delphi, endowed with the gift of prophecy, were accepted by the Christian church as pagan counterparts of the Old Testament prophets, foretelling the coming of Christ. This Sybil holds one of the `Sibylline Books', in which her prophecies were recorded. This painting, originally known as 'The Persian Sybil', is in fact a very fine copy and a reduced version from Guercino's much larger painting 'The Cumaean Sybil with a Putto' of 1651 ex-Sir Denis Mahon collection, hanging in the National Gallery, London which was commissioned in 1651 by Gioseffo Locatelli of Cesena as a companion to a King David (Spencer collection; Althorp).
NTPL Ref. No
The Cumaean Sibyl by Studio of Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666)
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