Saint Benedict

Francisco de Zurbarán Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 624

This painting formed part of a series by Zurbarán representing the thirteen founders of monastic orders, known today from copies in the Capuchin convent at Castellón de la Plana. During the 1630s, his workshop produced at least two other copies to serve evangelizing missions in the Americas: one series went to Lima and another to Mexico City. Saint Benedict is depicted holding a wine jar—notably a contemporary Spanish example made in the neighborhood of Triana in Seville—in reference to a legend that a jar of poisoned wine was fractured when blessed by the saint, thus saving him. Benedict reappears praying in the rocky landscape background.

Saint Benedict, Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, Fuente de Cantos 1598–1664 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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