Love by Damià Campeny

  • Description

  • Work's History

Damià Campeny’s sculpture Love, also known as Conjugal Fidelity, is a figure of Italian marble representing a young woman. Her hair is gathered up in a diadem, from which a crown of curls emerges, with a ponytail behind. In the front there are two twists of hair that hold an oval piece of metal and glass, representing a jewel. The woman bends her right knee slightly; she holds her arms in front of her breast, and her hands, tightly joined, hold the ring she is about to place on her finger. Her head is bent and her gaze is fixed on her hands. Her shoulders and arms are bare. Her ample robe does not entirely conceal her beauty. The expression of her face and the attitude of her body reveal peace and serenity.

«But now you turn back and everything that you said and did you let be taken with the wind and clouds in the sky. If you have forgotten, the gods do remember, Fides, the goddess of trust, remembers; she will soon make you regret your behaviour.» Càtul, Poemes

In the Gilded Hall, on the first floor of the Llotja, there are four sculptures of Italian marble that form a set: Hymen, Love or Conjugal Fidelity, Diana the Huntress and Paris. Damià Campeny worked on them in Rome, possibly between the years 1802 and 1814, and sent them to Barcelona in 1815 once the Napoleonic Wars had finished. The reason why Campeny created the sculptures is uncertain. From their matrimonial symbolism – Hymen would represent love; Conjugal Fidelity, faithfulness; Diana the Huntress, fertility; and Paris, beauty – it would seem that they were made to commemorate the double royal wedding that took place in Barcelona in 1802. However, some sources suggest that it was an initiative of the artist himself.

The four marbles remained wrapped up, just as they had arrived from Italy, until June 1825, when the Board of Trade presented them in an exhibition held in the Llotja.

Campeny’s Love is a particular representation of Fides, the Roman goddess of faith and loyalty. Her picture was traditionally placed beside the marriage altar. She was usually shown as a young woman with hands folded, a symbol of the fidelity of the betrothed couple, holding a turtle dove. These birds represent eternal loyalty, for when they lose their mate they never pair again.

Location

Casa Llotja de Mar

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Author's works
at the Llotja de Mar

  • Lucretia

    Damia Campeny 
  • Diana the Huntress

    Damia Campeny 
  • Janua caeli

    Damia Campeny 
  • Mastiff

    Damia Campeny