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In 1602, shortly after Amor Vincit was completed, Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani, Vincenzo’s brother and collaborator in the creation of the Giustiniani collection of contemporary art, commissioned a painting from the noted artist Giovanni Baglione.
Baglione’s Divine and Profane Love showed Divine Love separating a juvenile Cupid on the ground in the lower right corner (profane love) from a Lucifer in the left corner.
Certainly neither Giustiniani, who was not a homosexual, nor his visitors, appear to have been concerned by the question of modesty – or to have even raised it – and the story that the Marchese kept Amor hidden behind a curtain relates to his reported wish that it should be kept as a final pièce de résistance for visitors, to be seen only when the rest of the collection had been viewed – in other words, the curtain was to reveal the painting, not to hide it.It has therefore been suggested also that the picture is a coded reference to the attainments of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani: his Genoese family ruled Chios (until the island's capture by the Turks) in 1622, hence the coronet; the cultivated Marchese also wrote about music and painting (pen, manuscript and musical instruments), was constructing an imposing new palazzo (geometrical instruments), studied astronomy (astral sphere), and was praised for his military prowess (armour).The symbology thus holds the possible reading: Vincenzo Conquers All.Nevertheless, despite the clear indications of Caravaggio’s practice of painting direct from a live model, there is an undeniable resemblance to the pose of Michelangelo's Victory now in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, and it is likely the artist had this in mind.The painter Orazio Gentileschi lent Caravaggio the wings as props to be used in the painting, and this allows fairly precise dating of 1602–3.
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Thus began a long and vicious quarrel which was to have unforeseeable ramifications for Caravaggio decades after his death when the unforgiving Baglione became his first biographer.