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  • Pietro Malombra
St Stanislaus Raising a Dead Man, with St Hyacinth Kneeling before the Trinity Above
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St Stanislaus Raising a Dead Man, with St Hyacinth Kneeling before the Trinity Above 1607 - 1612
This is the only drawing by Malombra that can be firmly connected to one of his paintings. It is a preparatory study for an altarpiece of the same subject for the altar of the Polish Nation in the Basilica of St Anthony (the Santo) in Padua. This was one of Malombra’s most prestigious commissions. The cloaked figure in the foreground is Stanislaus Szczepanowski, Bishop of Cracow and patron saint of Poland. He is shown raising a youth called Piotrawin from the dead. In the background, Piotrawin defends Stanislaus before the Polish king, who had falsely accused Stanislaus of seizing royal lands. The scene of St Hyacinth above is unconnected to the story of Stanislaus, but his presence on the altar is justified as he was a popular Polish missionary who had recently been canonised.

Glossary Open

Altarpiece

An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.

Commission

When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Altarpiece, Commission

Details

  • Acc. No. RSA 221
  • Medium Pen, brown ink and wash, heightened with white on blue paper
  • Size 38.50 x 20.60 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy on loan 1966