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  • Giovanni Battista Pittoni
The Apotheosis of Saint Jerome with Saint Peter of Alcántara and an Unidentified Franciscan
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The Apotheosis of Saint Jerome with Saint Peter of Alcántara and an Unidentified Franciscan about 1725

On Display Scottish National Gallery

St Jerome on a cloud is guided heavenwards by a guardian angel. His hand rests on a skull, symbolizing the transience of earthly life. The painting was made for an altar in the nave of the popular Venetian church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. The church was run by Franciscan nuns and in the foreground is a Franciscan friar who can be identified as the renowned sixteenth-century Spanish preacher St Peter of Alcantara. He emphasizes the spiritual character of the event, experiencing the vision of St Jerome inwardly. The altarpiece, which was painted around 1725, was originally arched at the top.

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.

Symbolism

The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Altarpiece, Symbolism

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2238
  • Medium Oil on canvas (the top originally arched)
  • Size 275.00 x 143.00 cm (framed: 305.00 x 173.50 x 13.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1960