Battle Between Romans and Gauls
Artist: Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi
Italian, 1406-1486, active in Florence
Oil on panel, 17 x 61 1/2 in. (43.2 x 156.2 cm)
This panel is probably from a wedding chest or cassone in Italian. It is typical of a type
of painting used to decorate ornate and expensive pieces of furniture used to transport a
bride's trousseau to her new home on the occasion of her marriage. The scene shows a
battle between the armored Romans, identified by their banners bearing the initials
S.P.Q.R., and barbaric, nude, wild-looking Frenchmen, or Gauls, whose banner sports a
rooster. The white horse on the left bears the arms of a branch of the Medici family.
Thus, the panel was probably made for an ally or aspiring friend of the Medici hoping to
demonstrate a close relationship to the politically influential clan.
Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, SN13