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Battle of Meloria


Giovanni David (Cabella Ligure, Alessandria, 1749 – Genoa, 1790)
The Battle of Meloria
oil on canvas,1777-78
The Room of Aurora or Flora

This is a depiction of one of the most important episodes in the history of the Republic of Genoa, namely the celebrated battle fought off the island of Meloria on 6 August 1284 against the Pisan fleet. The Genoese victory put an end to the longstanding rivalry between the two maritime republics for dominance in the Mediterranean and especially over Corsica. The work is actually the preparatory sketch for the large canvas painted between 1778 and 1783 for the Chamber of the High Council in the Palazzo Ducale, where it still hangs. The presence of works by Giovanni David in the palace on Via Balbi, including the artist’s self-portrait, is due to his close connections with the Durazzo family, who funded his studies in Rome and then employed him on numerous commissions. In Venice he enjoyed the hospitality of Count Giacomo Durazzo, who stimulated above all his production of graphic art. On his return to Genoa, David lived in the palace on Via Balbi, where he died at the age of 41.

  • Giovanni David
  • olio su tela, 1777-1778
  • olio su tela
  • Salotto dell'Aurora o di Flora