Pietro Paolini

The Fortune Teller

Artwork Detail

The Fortune Teller displays the exaggerated tenebrism (contrasting light and shadow) that was initiated by Caravaggio. Symbolic elements such as the mirror that the young man on the left is holding suggests vanity, while the garlic on his head may imply witchcraft. The gypsy fortune teller here acts as a procuress, telling the naive young woman she should accept the advances of her suitor. The latter, of course, has paid the fortune teller for the reading.

The Fortune Teller
Pietro Paolini
Production date
mid 17th century
oil on canvas
1080 x 1702 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr Norman B Spencer, 1961
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

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