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Vicente Victoria

Saint Paschal Baylon adoring the Ostensorium

1690 ca.

Obra Gráfica

Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk heightened with white on blue paper, squared in black chalk






The traditional attribution to Murillo given on Richardson’s mount points correctly to Spain as the origin of this dramatic sheet, and may have been guided by the subject itself. This shows a Franciscan saint, the Spaniard Pascual Bailon (or Paschal Baylon), who is seen adoring the ostensorium, the vessel containing the eucharist which formed the focus of his hermit life. Baylon was born at Torre Hermosa in 1540 and died at Villa Real near Valencia in 1592, Vitoria’s native town. He was beatified in 1618 and canonised in 1690. In the arts he is usually shown with the ostensorium, his main attribute.

Vicente Vitoria, a Valencian painter of noble descent, was one of Maratti’s pupils in Rome. In the mid-1670s he frequented the Florentine court of Grand Duke Cosimo III, whose likeness he depicted. Appointed canon of Xàtiva (Valencia) in 1687, he left for that city the following year. Among Vitoria’s major works in Valencia are the frescoes of the Life of St. Peter in the Capilla del Sagrario in the cathedral, and the fourteen paintings for the sacristy of the convent of Saint Francis. He befriended Antonio Palomino (1655-1726), the Spanish scholar and last court painter to Charles II of Spain, who dedicated a vita to the artist in his Parnaso pintoresco laureado of 1724. By 1698 Vitoria was back in Rome where he published several treatises and assembled an important collection of drawings and antiquities.

Vitoria’s best known painting in Rome is the altarpiece of Saint Paschal Baylon adoring the Ostensorium in the Cappella di S. Pasquale in S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome (fig. 5), executed between 1679 and 1686. Daniele Seiter, another student of Maratti, made the two lateral paintings depicting posthumous miracles of the saint. Vitoria’s painting differs from this drawing in composition, yet both works share the characteristic and ample use of pairs of cherubs, as well as the conflation of Spanish sentiment with a classic Roman baroque repertory. More importantly, the putto in the upper left above the saint, embracing a cloud and looking back up, is nearly identical in both compositions. Though no other composition drawings by Vitoria have yet been identified, this sheet may well be a preliminary design for the Aracoeli picture.

Alto: 40.5 x Ancho: 27.9 x cm. / Alto: 16 x Ancho: 11 x in.

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Region : Spanish
Provenance : Jonathan Richardson, Jr. (Lugt 2170), his mount and attribution, Murillo./B/. Sir George Clausen (Lugt 539)

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