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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Martin and the Beggar

Attributed to Vittore Carpaccio (Italian, Venice 1460/66?–1525/26 Venice)
Pen and gray ink, brush and gray wash, over faint traces of black chalk
7 x 4 1/2 in. (17.8 x 11.4 cm) maximum; borders cropped irregularly
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charles and Jessie Price Gift, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
This small study appears to have been preparatory for an altarpiece in the Zara Cathedral, which Carpaccio probably undertook in 1493; although the drawing omits the landscape in the painting, it represents many other details of similar design. The subject is based on an episode from the life of Saint Martin of Tours (ca. 315-397 A.D.), as told in Jacobus de Voragine's 'Golden Legend.' The saint, a young soldier in the Roman army, is seen here on horseback, in the act of cutting off a piece from his cloak with his sword to clothe the beggar standing by his side toward the center. Vittore Carpaccio was the leading painter of late fifteenth-century Venice, along with Giovanni and Gentile Bellini.
Inscription: Inscribed in pen and ink, at upper right corner and again towards center of lower border, "5".
Conte Barozzi (Venice); De Sanctis; W. Kundig, Geneva, November 22, 1947lot 58; Ulrico Hoepli (Milan); Martin Bodmer (Geneva); Martin Bodmer Foundation, Geneva; Christie's, New York, January 23, 2002lot 141; Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 15–September 29, 2014.

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