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The Penance of Saint John Chrysostom

A work made of engraving, on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving, on paper.


c. 1510


attributed to Giulio Campagnola
Italian, c. 1482-1515/18

About this artwork

This luminous unique impression suggests a more linear version of Campagnola’s dappled, early stipple engraving style, characterized by many small dots in different sizes, volumes, and shades. The composition tells an apocryphal legend of Saint John Chrysostom, in which the saint, living as a hermit, seduces and impregnates the daughter of an emperor. Shocked by his own actions, John throws the princess from a cliff and vows never to rise from the ground in penance for his misdeeds. After the princess and her child are miraculously discovered still alive, John’s sins are forgiven. In Campagnola’s composition, the princess and child are presented in the foreground while John is depicted walking on all fours in the background. The female nude is reminiscent of Campagnola’s Woman Reclining in a Landscape.


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Prints and Drawings


Giulio Campagnola


The Penance of Saint John Chrysostom


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Engraving, on paper


Plate: 14.3 × 11.5 cm (5 11/16 × 4 9/16 in.); Sheet: 14.9 × 11.6 cm (5 7/8 × 4 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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