The Italian baroque paintings of Langetti and Zanchi make a fine pair. Not only do they have similar formats, painting styles and pronounced contrasts between areas of light and shade, but their subject matters have much in common too: both feature mythological male figures condemned to centuries of punishment. One shows Tityus, whose liver was eternally pecked at by a vulture. The other shows Sisyphus, who was forced to roll a stone up a hill for eternity, only to watch it roll back down again whenever he neared the top.
Both these paintings once belonged to the Dukes of Mantua. William I acquired them for the Mauritshuis in 1831.
Dukes of Mantua; Martial Reghellini Schio, Venice and Brussels, 1826; purchased by King William I for the Mauritshuis, 1831
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