• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12109

    Old Masters

    26 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 50

    North French School, 16th Century

    Saint Benedict of Nursia

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    North French School, 16th Century
    Saint Benedict of Nursia
    oil on panel
    9 ½ x 5 in. (24.3 x 12.7 cm.)


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    The life of Saint Benedict was documented by Pope Gregory I in 593 A.D.. In his Dialogues, the Pope relates that Benedict was born in Nursia and educated in Rome. Repelled by the vices of the city, he fled to Enfide around 500 A.D., eventually settling in nearby Subiaco to live the life of a hermit. One day, temptation appeared to Saint Benedict in the form of an image of a beautiful woman he had formerly known. Feeling desire, the saint disrobed and rolled into a briar patch until his body was lacerated: 'So, by the wounds of his body, he cured the wounds of his soul, in that he turned pleasure into pain' (Dialogues, II).

    Provenance

    Private collection, Europe.