Alexander Cutting the Gordian Knot

Martino Altomonte

Martino Altomonte - Alexander Cutting the Gordian Knot
In 1709-1714, a series of paintings was produced for the winter residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg, depicting scenes from the life of Alexander the Great, set into stucco-relief frames in fields of the salle’s ceilings. The newly-appointed archbishop Count Franz Anton von Harrach invited Johann Michael Rottmayr (1654-1730) and Martino Altomonte to work on the paintings. Martino Altomonte, who taught art in Rome in the 1670s, was active mainly in Vienna from 1703 and later in Linz. Alexander the Great Cuts the Gordic Knot is the only surviving oil sketch. The painting tells the story of Alexander the Great who cut the knot from the yoke of the cart of Gordias: according to legend, whoever could unravel the elaborate knots was destined to become ruler of Asia.
measurements: height 86 cm
width 86 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 1329
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters