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Saint Romanus of Antioch and Saint Barulas

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

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1638

Artist:

Francisco de Zurbarán
Spanish, 1598–1664

About this artwork

Francisco de Zurbarán excelled at painting altarpieces that presented saints in an accessible manner, as required by the conventions of the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s effort to oppose the Protestant Reformation and revitalize Catholicism. Catholic reformers emphasized that religious painting should offer easily recognizable figures and narratives in order to be accessible to a contemporary audience. This canvas, made for the high altar of the church of San Román in Seville, Spain, depicts the church’s dedication to Saint Romanus of Antioch. Romanus towers over Saint Barulas, a child of seven, who was inspired to martyrdom by the elder saint’s words. Romanus, himself martyred in 303 under the emperor Diocletian, holds up his own tongue, torn out by his tormentors, and grasps a massive book inscribed with a prayer invoking his intercession on behalf of the faithful.

Status

On View, Gallery 211

Department

Painting and Sculpture of Europe

Artist

Francisco de Zurbarán

Title

Saint Romanus of Antioch and Saint Barulas

Place

Spain (Artist's nationality)

Date

1638

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

246.5 × 160.1 cm (97 × 73 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Chauncey McCormick and Mrs. Richard E. Danielson

Reference Number

1947.793

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/61665/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

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