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Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

This picture is the sole survivor of three canvases by Valentin that belonged to the Spanish royal collection. Spanish by birth, Saint Lawrence was the titular saint of the royal monastery and mausoleum built by Philip II (r. 1556–98). He was martyred in the year 258 by being roasted on a grill. The crowded composition, with its competing areas of interest, led Valentin to look beyond Caravaggio’s example to that of artists practicing in the grand tradition of Raphael. This allowed him to give the work greater focus and clarity.

Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

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