Guido Reni "Sacred Love and Profane Love"

Guido Reni, Sacred love and profane love

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Guido Reni (Bologna, 1575-1642)

Technique and Dimensions:

Oil on canvas, 132 x 163 cm


Second noble floor, "Salotto verde" (inv. no. GNPS 111)

Object Type:



Recorded as present in the Palazzo in various sources and documented in Carlo Giuseppe Raggi’s Guide from as early as 1780, it became part of the patrimony of the residence at an unspecified date, arriving in Genoa from Bologna where it had been produced by the "divine" Guido. The subject, particularly successful in counter-reformist times as an incitement to gentleness, is resolved by Reni by presenting Sacred Love that burns Cupid's arrows thus winning victory over sensual love which is deprived of its weapons.

The canvas in Palazzo Spinola, to which various draft sketches can be attributed, is believed to be an authentic variant of the canvas preserved in the National Museum of San Matteo in Pisa, which is not of certain authorship, and copies of the same subject are known.