The Departure of Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium for the Holy Land

Giuseppe Bottani Italian

Not on view

The drawing is a squared study with minor variations for Bottani's monumental altarpiece now in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, signed and dated 1745 ( 410 x 231 cm; inv. 410). The painting, generally considered the artist's early masterpiece, was executed in Rome and commissioned by the Hieronymites for their now-destroyed Milanese church of Santi Cosma e Damiano. To the right of the Roman widow Paula stands her daughter Eustochium, who accompanied her to the Holy Land to join Saint Jerome. Paula's daughter Rufina kisses her mother's hand in farewell, and Paula's son Toxotius kneels at the right. In preparation of his large canvas, Bottani realized an highly finished oil sketch, also part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 1991.445). Like many of Bottani's drawings, at his death the sheet was collected and annotated on the bottom by the artist's brother Giovanni, who provided the year of its execution, 1740. (Furio Rinaldi)

The Departure of Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium for the Holy Land, Giuseppe Bottani (Italian, Cremona 1717–1784 Mantua), Red chalk; squared in black chalk

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