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‘Sine Baccho Et Cerere Friget Venus’

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REF
374783
Height
83.2 cm (32 3/4")
Width
141.6 cm (55 3/4")
ROBERT FREEBAIRN
1765 - 1808
English School

Oil on canvas


‘Sine Baccho Et Cerere Friget Venus’ is a quotation from the Roman comic dramatist Terence (The Eunuch). It roughly translates that love grows cold without the stimulus of wine or feasting. This theme was popular with 17th century Flemish artists who followed Rubens.

Publius Terentius Afer (190-159 BC) was the slave of the Roman Senator Publius Terentius Lucanus who educated and later freed him. The former slave’s first play, Andria, was a success and introduced him to refined Roman society and the younger Scipio became one of his patrons. Publius died in Greece and his plays are Greek in origin and setting. Many of his conventions and plot constructions were later used by Sheridan and Molière.

Robert Freebairn was born on 16 March, 1764 in London. Apart from the years between 1786-1791 when he was in Italy, Freebairn lived in London at various addresses, including Grosvenor Square, Cavendish Square and Neuman Street.

He is recorded as a pupil of Richard Wilson, R A, but it is more likely that he studied under Philip Reinagle, R A. He worked in both oil and watercolour but preferred oil as a medium, producing works of fine detail and quality

Freebairn produced works such as: “Temple of the Sun in the Campagnia of Italy”, “Landscape; representation of Time”, “Entrance into Maecenas’ Villa”, and “Powis Castle, North Wales”. 54 of his paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1782 and 1807, 22 at the British Institute from1806-8 and 8 at other institutions posthumously between 1809 and 1813.

He died in London on 25th January 1808.

Bibliography:
A Dictionary of British Landscape Painters, M. H. Grant
A Dictionary of British Marine Painters, A. Wilson
The Dictionary of 18th Century British Painters, E. Waterhouse
Height
83.2 cm (32 3/4")
Width
141.6 cm (55 3/4")
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