Weird, Wonderful Gods and Gladiators Vintage Painting on Wood Panel

Regular price $55.00

Such a curious one! I am not sure if the two figures at right at actually gods or just acting like them, with hands hovering over the action below as if controlling it.  (In fact, I think the yellow crests behind them signify the Holy Roman Empire, and most likely this is the Emperor and Empress. And I think the dog at near right is likely inanimate, carved into the arms of the throne on which they sit.) Below their outstretched hands are the tiny gladiators sparring away with their swords and shields and helmets, surrounded by a packed coliseum of spectators. Surely some commentary happening here about the exertion of power of various sorts, and about dynamics between the rulers, masses and spectacle, though I have no idea where this little painting came from.  In any event, a wonderfully strange one I think.

7 1/2" x 5 1/2" I think maybe tempera on wood panel. A little paint loss here and there and a little splitting to the surface of the wood. And a surprise painting/drawing of a girl on reverse.