Francesco Hayez, Vendetta Triptych (Advice of Revenge, Secret Accusation, The Revenge of a Rival), 1847-53

These three paintings are a triptych based on two poems by Andrea Maffei, The Venetian and Revenge, which were allegories to the political and cultural reunification happening in Italy in the 19th Century. In the poems, the central character Maria (seen here in the green dress) is sucked into a revenge plot by Rachel, who holds a letter explaining how Maria’s lover has betrayed her. Rachel implores Maria to denounce the man to the state inquisitors. In the second painting Maria looks pained as she is about to anonymously drop off the complaint letter to the authorities. The third painting has been lost so we only have a poor copy of it, but it shows the complaint letter in the hands of an inquisitor after Maria has confessed the truth to him. Rachel admonishes Maria for giving up the plot.


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First place on the internet where I could find the three paintings together, so thank you for posting and for the background information. Do you know where to find translations for Andrea Maffei’s poems The Venetian and The Revenge?

I’m afraid I don’t know where you can find the poems. That would take a bit of research, but I bet you could track down something on the internet!

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