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Mythological & Allegorical Drawings

Mythological and allegorical drawings take their inspiration from ancient cultural stories, also known as myths. The images created in these drawings can be interpreted to reveal hidden meanings, often with moralistic undertones. Collectors value mythological and allegorical drawings for their connection to many of human civilization's oldest narratives as well as for their innate aesthetic, which often includes imaginative and even fantastical iconography.

This genre of drawing rose to prominence in the decades following the rise of Christianity as the significance of pagan gods in daily life diminished. As a result, scenes such as the discovery of Ariadne by Dionysus or the labors of Heracles came to represent such virtues as the triumph of good over evil or the hope for everlasting life.

Mythological and allegorical subjects embody a quintessential trope in Western art throughout the ages. This is especially true during the Renaissance era, when many classical myths were recapitulated as tales advocating moral virtue. Drawings from this period by artists such as Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) and Paolo Veronese are incredibly sought after works.


Quick Facts

  • Classical mythology is an integral aspect of modern art. Artists including Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso often employed classical themes; one of Picasso’s celebrated series was inspired by the legend of the Minotaur
  • "Venus of Orbino" by Titian is one of the most famous paintings ever created. It serves as an allegory celebrating marital love and erotic pleasures. Countless drawings have since been based on this fabled portrait
  • An allegorical drawing by the Renaissance master Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo measuring less than five square inches sold at Christie’s in 2012 for more than $22,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (1857-1929)Allegoric figure
Mar 14, 2:00 PM WET
Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (1857-1929)Allegoric figure
by Veritas Art Auctioneers
Est: €3,000- €5,000
€3,0000 Bids
Late 18th century Italian School
Mar 07, 10:00 AM GMT
Late 18th century Italian School
by Martel Maides
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
GEORG BEHAM (1568 MUNICH - 1604 IBID) (ATTRIBUTED), ROBBERY OF THE HIPPODAMEIA BY THE CENTAURS, 16TH CENTURY
Mar 20, 5:00 PM CET
GEORG BEHAM (1568 MUNICH - 1604 IBID) (ATTRIBUTED), ROBBERY OF THE HIPPODAMEIA BY THE CENTAURS, 16TH CENTURY
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €800- €1,200
€8000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Mythological & Allegorical Drawings


Martel Maides

Martel Maides

Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH

Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH

Veritas Art Auctioneers

Veritas Art Auctioneers