Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin and Christ Child

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.

Date:

c. 1535

Artist:

Girolamo da Carpi (Girolamo Sellari)
Italian, c. 1501–1556

About this artwork

Girolamo da Carpi was one of the most gifted artists at the court of the Este family of Ferrara, an important artistic center during the Italian Renaissance. This intimate work was painted for the Estes and adorned the oratory chapel of their palace. In the painting, Saint Luke draws the Virgin and Child while Saint Joseph watches unobtrusively from a doorway. As in many Renaissance works, Christ appears agitated—seemingly possessing foreknowledge of his death. He may be reacting to the spearlike yarnwinder, an attribute of the Three Fates and, consequently, a traditional symbol of death.

After leaving the Estes, the painting came into the possession, successively, of two Roman cardinals, two Roman princes, the English Duke of Westminster, Baron Alfred de Rothschild, and the Earl of Carnavon, who famously paid for the excavation of the tomb of King Tutankhamen.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 205

Artist

Girolamo da Carpi

Title

Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin and Christ Child

Date

1530–1540

Medium

Oil on panel

Dimensions

47 × 34 cm (18 × 13 3/8 in.) (arched)

Credit Line

Restricted Gift of the Old Masters Society

Reference Number

2007.246

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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