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Title St Andrew Praying before his Martyrdom
Alternative Title St Andrew Adoring his Cross
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Dolci, Carlo (Italian painter, 1616-1687)
Date 1643 (dated)
Signed yes
Description The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine recounts that St. Andrew fell to his knees before his cross in adoration because he was to die in the same way as Christ. This is the first of three versions commissioned for senator Paolo del Sera and two other collectors in Florence. Several of the figures are portraits of well-known contemporaries. The man in armour is the artists friend Raffaello Ximenes, a noted connoisseur and one of Dolci's earliest patrons. Dolci's self portrait appears below the saint's right hand. Dolci also included references to several other works of art in the background - pictures which may have been in the del Sera collection. The man in the red cap seen in the distance between the legs of the executioner is a famous Titian portrait while the turbanned figure is a quote from Rubens.

Current Accession Number 1962P45
Former Accession Number P.45´62
Inscription front lr 'Carolus Dolcius Florentinus Fact. 1643'
Subject religion (St Andrew)
Measurements 115.6 x 91.4 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Agnew's 1962.
Provenance Paolo del Sera; Signore Borri sale (dealer William Wint?], Langfords, 29 - 30 March 1759, 2nd day, lot 66, bought by Lord Ashburnham [?]; Sir James Colebrooke of Gatton; his sale, Messrs Prestage and Hobbs, London, 4 February 1762, lot 70, bought by Thomas Duncombe; by descent in the Duncomb family; Earl of Feversham, 1962.
Principal Exhibitions Magnasco Society, Agnew's, 1925, cat. no. 24; Old Masters from the City of Birmingham, Wildenstein and Co. Ltd., London, cat. no. 16; Florentine Seicento Painting, Royal Academy, London, 1979; Painting in Florence, 1600 - 1700, Colnaghi, 1979, cat. no. 25.
Publications Baldinucci, Notizie dei prof. del disegno da Cimabue in qua, 1847, V. p. 347; Gambiagi, 1767-75, XI, p. 37.; Fry, R., Transformations, 1926, p. iii and 225, ill.; del Bravo, C., 'Carlo Dolci, devoto del naturale', Paragone, no. 163, 1963, p. 34, ill.; Woodward, J. 'Paintings by Dolci and Claude for Birmingham' ,Apollo, vol. 77, 1963, p. 250, fig. VI; Sitwell, O., 'The Magnasco Society', Apollo, vol. 79, 1964, p. 383, pl. V; McCorquodale, C., ‘A Fresh look at Carlo Dolci', Apollo, XCVII, 1973, pp. 477-488; Chiarini, M., 'La terza versione del Martiro del Saint Andrea di Carlo Dolci', Paragone, no. 337, 1978, pp. 90-91; McCorquodale, C., ‘Some Unpublished Works by Carlo Dolci', Burlington Magazine, CXXI, March 1979, pp. 142-150; Taylor, J.R., 'The Florentine wind of change',Art & Antiques Weekly, 17 February 1979, pp. 12 -13; Fletcher, J. 'Marco Boschini and Paolo del Sera- Collectors and Connoisseurs of Venice', Apollo, vol. 110, 1979, p. 416, fig. 1; Baldassari, F., Carlo Dolci, 1995; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 45, ill.
Notes One of the other versions was commissioned by the Marchese Carlo Gerini and was later purchased by Ferdinand III of Tuscany. It is now in the Pitti Palace. The other was painted for Carlo Corbinelli and is known only from a copy (although it could be the painting sold in the Earl of Ashburnham's sale, Christie's, 20 July 1850, lot 26). This version was engraved by Carlo Faucci in 1759. There is a drawing for the central figure of the executioner in the Ashmolean at Oxford (no. 838).
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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