Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence

Aurelio Luini (Italian, Luino or Milan ca. 1530–1593 Milan)
1580s–early 1590s
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, over black chalk, on light tan paper; squared in red chalk
16-9/16 x 11-7/16 in. (42.0 x 29.0 cm)
Credit Line:
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1985
Accession Number:
Not on view
This large, carefully squared composition by the son of the more famous Lombard painter Bernardino Luini served as a working modello for a fresco that was originally in the church of San Vincenzo alle Monache, Milan (now Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, Milan). The commission is unrecorded, but stylistic comparison to other altarpieces by the artist suggests a date in the 1580s. The drawing retains a freshness of gesture and a lively rhythm of outline that seem lacking in the admittedly very damaged final fresco. Both the stark frontal foreshortening of the figure of Saint Lawrence and the diagonal thrust of the composition were inspired by Titian's famous canvas of the same subject, painted in 1548-57 (Church of the Gesuati, Venice), which became widely known through a number of painted replicas and Cornelis Cort's reproductive engraving.
(Carmen C. Bambach)
Inscription: Inscribed in pen and brown ink on verso at lower left "No 219"; at lower right border "Luca Cangiaso". Two other inscriptions in pen and brown ink on verso are illegible.
Vendor: John Morton Morris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 26, 2004–July 25, 2004.

Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1985 - June 30, 1986. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 116, New York, 1986, p. 23.

Nancy Ward Neilson "A Drawing by Aurelio Luini." Master Drawings. vol. 25, no. 2, New York, 1987, pp. 151-52, pl. 6.

William M. Griswold, Linda Wolk-Simon Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 11 - March 27, 1994). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994, no. 51.

Giovanni Agosti, Jacopo Stoppa Bernardino Luini e i suoi figli. Exh. cat. Palazzo Reale, Milan (April 10 - July 13, 2013). 1, Milan, 2014, pp. 344-45, under no. 88, fig. 156 (entry by F.M. Giani), ill.

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