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Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727 – 14 December 1785) was an Italian painter and engraver, who lived in England from 1755. He is also called Giuseppe Cipriani by some authors. Much of his work consisted of designs for prints, many of which were engraved by his friend Francesco Bartolozzi.


A Founder Member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Giovanni Battista Cipriani was an Italian-born artist who designed the interior of the Academy’s first home at Somerset House.

Cipriani was born in 1727 in Florence. He began his artistic training with the Anglo-Florentine artist Ignazio Hugford, who also taught his compatriot and future fellow Royal Academician Francesco Bartolozzi. In 1750 Cipriani moved to Rome, where he met the architect William Chambers and sculptor Joseph Wilton. He travelled with them to England in 1755, where he lived for the rest of his life. Cipriani quickly established himself as a teacher of drawing and painting at the Duke of Richmond’s academy at Whitehall, and as a member of the St. Martin’s Lane Academy. Four years after arriving, he married Ann Booker, confirming his adoption of England as his new home. He retained a close friendship with Chambers and often collaborated with him. In 1762, Chambers and Cipriani worked together on a Gold State Coach for George III, with Cipriani contributing painted panels to a design by Chambers. The coach has been used for the coronation of every British monarch since George IV.


Perseus sits on the left of the picture gazing up at Palla Athena , goddess of war wearing her characteristic plumed helmet. She presents  Perseus with a mirrored shield before he goes off to slay the Gorgon Medusa. Those who gaze directly Medusa's will be turned to stone, so the shield will allow Perseus to see through her reflected image. In between them is Mercury (Hermes) recognizable by his winged hat. 




Perseus armed by Pallas & Mercury, Giovanni Battista Cipriani - Antique Print

SKU: 1084
  • Image Number: 1084
    Title: Perseus armed by Pallas & Mercury
    Artist: Giovanni Battista Cipriani
    Engraver: Francesco Bartolozzi
    Medium: Etching 

    Framed size (h x w): 396 x 396mm

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