Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Allegory of Peace

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Allegory of Peace
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Friedrich Sustris


Allegory of Peace

Creation Date


Medium & Support

pen and black ink, grey wash over black chalk on paper


7 7/8 in. x 3 3/4 in. (20 cm. x 9.53 cm.)

Credit Line

Bequest of the Honorable James Bowdoin III

Accession Number



Public Domain

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The languid and sensual Allegory of Peace epitomizes Mannerist elegance in the female form. From her idealized profile and ornately knotted hair to her tiny waist, swelling abdomen, ample thighs and dainty feet, she embodies the artificial beauty favored by Italian and Northern Mannerists.  Sustris employs the convention of “wet drapery” in rendering her quasi-ancient Greek garment, which reveals her navel and breasts beneath the fabric. The personification stands erect, effortlessly holding the heavy torch with which she sets fire to the symbols of war at her feet: cuirass (body armor), helmet, sword, and banners. She holds a palm branch of peace in her left hand, pointing heavenward with one extended finger, indicating the source of peace on earth.  

Portfolios: FEAT|Public Domain