The Frick Collection
Veronese's Allegories
Special Exhibition: Veronese's Allegories

Click on the images above to learn more.

Veronese’s Allegories:
Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice
April 11 through July 16, 2006

“Mr. Henry C. Frick Purchaser of Two Paulo Veroneses” — so the New York Herald entitled their article on 14 April 1912 on the collector’s acquisition of two large-scale works by the Venetian Renaissance master. The article reported that “among the two hundred saloon passengers who left Liverpool for New York aboard the Mauretania to-day were Mr. and Mrs. J. Horace Harding, who have been touring in Egypt with Mr. Henry Clay Frick. Mr. Frick relinquished his berth at the last moment and decided to remain in London for a week. Mr. Harding said Mr. Frick had purchased important pictures, including two examples of Paulo Veronese.” The two canvases, The Choice between Virtue and Vice and Wisdom and Strength, for which Frick paid the dealer Knoedeler & Co. $200,000, were destined for the collector’s New York mansion at 1 East 70th Street, still very much in the planning stages at this date. Just under a year later in March 1913, when Frick began to review the specifications for his new residence, he received the following advice from Sir Charles Allom, to whom he would award the contract for the interior decoration of all the ground floor rooms. In designing a small gallery at the end of the picture gallery, with a view onto Fifth Avenue (the present-day Enamels Room), Allom was adamant that “its central window must never be permitted to interfere with the Veroneses when the Gallery doors are open.” From March 1913 to the present day, the two Veroneses have continued to provide the visual focus of The Frick Collection’s West Gallery.

Click on the images to read about each painting in the exhibition.

It is a great privilege to be able to present all five allegorical paintings by Paolo Veronese in the United States, drawing on the riches of public collections in New York and Los Angeles. This project, part of The Frick Collection’s long-standing tradition of presenting dossier exhibitions focusing on the Collection’s masterworks, allows us to present Veronese’s opulent and dazzling works to the public and provides a timely opportunity to review the current state of scholarship and research on them. We acknowledge in particular the generous contribution of the lenders, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The exhibition and accompanying publication have been the work of Xavier F. Salomon, the third Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at The Frick Collection. In this book he investigates all aspects of these marvelous paintings — their physical condition, their symbolism and possible meanings, the history of their ownership — with exemplary rigor and intelligence. His catalogue has been meticulously prepared for publication by Elaine Koss, Editor in Chief, and designed by Ron Gordon and Aaron Tilford, Oliphant Press, in a manner reflecting both the seriousness of the text and the sumptuousness of the pictures.

Anne L. Poulet, Director
Colin B. Bailey, Chief Curator


The exhibition would have not been possible without the generous help of The Christian Humann Foundation., to whom we are greatly indebted. Additional invaluable support has been provided by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Hester Diamond, The Helen Clay Frick Foundation, and the Fellows of The Frick Collection. This publication is made possible thanks to the generosity of Lawrence and Julie Salander.



Veronese’s Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice Veronese’s Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice Veronese’s Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice Veronese’s Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice Veronese's Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice