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  • St Carlo Borromeo

    Artist:
    Borgianni, Orazio. 1578-1616
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    152,5x123 cm

Borgianni, Orazio. 1578-1616

St Carlo Borromeo

Italy, Early 1610s

Saint Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584), bishop and cardinal, was one of the most active figures in the Counter-Reformation. His character combined both the Catholic Church's cruelty to its opponents and great charity. He organised hospitals during the plague epidemic and without fear of infection himself gave last communion to the dying. His authority was so great that images of him as a saint appeared even before his canonisation in 1610. Orazio Borgianni, a painter and engraver, produced this picture soon after the canonisation. Borgianni was much influenced by Caravaggio, as can be seen here in the dark ground and the emphatic modelling in light and shade. Combined with this approach is a free painting style which allowed the artist to convey the religious ecstasy of the praying cardinal. The open Bible and the crucifix upon it fit easily into the composition, at the same time forming a superb still life.

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Title:

St Carlo Borromeo

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

152,5x123 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1886; formerly in the A.M. Golitsyn collection (the Golitsyn Museum in Moscow)

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2357

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Collection: