wikipedia, Roman Charity (Latin Caritas romana; Italian Carità Romana) is the exemplary story of a woman, Pero, who secretly breastfeeds her father, Cimon, after he is incarcerated and sentenced to death by starvation. She is found out by a jailer, but her act of selflessness impresses officials and wins her father's release.
This blog deals with roman charity, its counterpart : Asian filial piety and with some pieces of art that were inspired those topics.
Due to its main subject, this blog can sometimes be close to "R-rated". Please appreciate this fact when clicking on links : some contents may not be suitable for all audiences.
Paintings of Roman Charity, daughter breastfeeding her father starving in prison
Herebelow is a gallery of paintings that no museum in the world could ever gather.
Many paintings and just one thema over the centuries : "Roman Charity"
If you don't know the story, please read this extract of a book named "Collection of Greek popular songs and stories".
To summarize, this image represents a young girl (Pero) breastfeeding an old man (Cimon), who is her father.
This represents filial piety and is probably a kind of metaphor of citizens ready to offer their own blood to their country.
For the filial piety side, this can also be compared to the asian topic of the daughter-in-law breastfeeding her husband father/mother.
What's interesting here ?
For sure, the different ways used by the painters to deal with this topic, but also the look of the daughter that is very different from a painting to the other :
- sometimes she looks at her father with the eyes of a caring mother
- sometimes she looks in another direction and seems to be struggled in an internal ethical fight
- sometimes she looks scared to be surprised by the king soldiers
- sometimes her face just reflects sacrifice
Please have a look by yourself ...
Roman Charity, by Jean-Jacques Lagrenée (1781)
Roman Charity, Amsterdam version, by P.P Rubens (1625)
By Rosso Fiorentino (?)
By Lorenzo Pasinelli (1670)
By Guido Reni
By Hans Sebald Beham (1540)
The Roman Daughter by Rembrandt Peale (1811)
By Carlo Cignani
By Georg Pencz