Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 35 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 89 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,443 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 871 items
  • 4 items
  • 220 items
  • 12,471 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,229 items Explore
  • 8,489 items Explore
  • 5,045 items Explore
  • 167 items Explore
  • 12,982 items Explore
  • 13,621 items Explore
  • 4,806 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 2,008 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,746 items Explore
  • 13 items Explore
  • 437 items Explore
  • 267 items
  • 19,860 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,911 items Explore
  • 1,083 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 2,048 items Explore
  • 449 items Explore
  • 919 items Explore
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 20,178 items Explore
  • 800 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 797 items
  • 20 items
  • 4 items
  • 26 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 319 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,020 items Explore
  • 804 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 108 items
  • 36,844 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,863 items Explore
  • 1,535 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 11,003 items Explore
  • 9,687 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 38 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 7,091 items Explore
  • 7,460 items Explore
  • 4,511 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1,859 items Explore
  • 1,191 items Explore
  • 22,342 items Explore
  • 3,662 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 5 items
  • 334 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,370 items Explore
  • 23 items Explore
  • 352 items Explore
  • 796 items Explore
  • 1,090 items Explore
  • 510 items Explore
  • 1,143 items Explore
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 6,950 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 4 items
  • 310 items
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 63 items
  • 2 items
  • 2,937 items Explore
  • 1,579 items Explore
  • 203 items
  • 91 items
  • 21,911 items
  • 1,235 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 843 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 281 items
  • 313 items
  • 684 items Explore
  • 346 items Explore
  • 2,427 items
  • 2,535 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,386 items Explore
  • 41,281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,288 items Explore
  • 275 items Explore
  • 8,573 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 775 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 58 items
  • 52 items
  • 22,423 items Explore
  • 917 items
  • 65 items
  • 22,555 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,338 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,028 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 759 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,304 items Explore
  • 177 items
  • 59 items
  • 11 items
  • 455 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 129 items
  • 295 items
  • 447 items
  • 286 items
  • 1 items
  • 790 items Explore
  • 271 items Explore
  • 11,293 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,046 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 8,014 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,871 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,722 items Explore
  • 9,190 items Explore
  • 7,751 items Explore
  • 185 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 853 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 2,329 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,095 items Explore
  • 269 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,540 items Explore
  • 695 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 6,716 items Explore
  • 93 items
  • 18,733 items Explore
  • 3,142 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7 items
  • 10,983 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,526 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 13,212 items Explore
  • 3,458 items Explore
  • 5,597 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 46,443 items Explore
  • 641 items Explore
  • 417 items
  • 25,994 items Explore
  • 217 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 35 items
  • 27 items
  • 434 items Explore
  • 636 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 13,114 items Explore
  • 1,350 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,260 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,537 items Explore
  • 913 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 319 items
  • 703 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,285 items Explore
  • 1,661 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,875 items Explore
  • 150 items
  • 38 items
  • 81 items
  • 680 items Explore
  • 3,063 items Explore
  • 43 items
  • 17 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,675 items Explore
  • 23,151 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,372 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,437 items Explore
  • 3,571 items Explore
  • 2,896 items Explore
  • 4,782 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 42 items
  • 6,898 items Explore
  • 4,832 items Explore
  • 256 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,974 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1,901 items Explore
  • 193 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 466 items Explore
  • 6,117 items Explore
  • 8,738 items Explore
  • 1,861 items Explore
  • 14 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,799 items Explore
  • 3,339 items Explore
  • 11,066 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,793 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 6 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,159 items Explore
  • 611 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 17 items
  • 154 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 95 items Explore
  • 460 items
  • 3 items
  • 996 items Explore
  • 3,610 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 5 items
  • 5 items
  • 9,480 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 7 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,745 items Explore
  • 1,166 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,558 items Explore
  • 1,920 items
  • 24 items
  • 7,831 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,929 items Explore
  • 1,417 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 9,673 items Explore
  • 15,109 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,667 items Explore
  • 181 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 5,685 items Explore
  • 12,189 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,200 items Explore
  • 359 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 491 items
  • 664 items Explore
  • 8,373 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 7,344 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 4,481 items Explore
  • 420 items
  • 9 items
  • 320 items Explore
  • 12,702 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 434 items
  • 535 items
  • 3,703 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,232 items Explore
  • 2,502 items Explore
  • 734 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,139 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 228 items Explore
  • 78,996 items Explore
  • 3,053 items Explore
  • 2,873 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 5,338 items Explore
  • 1,831 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,460 items Explore
  • 4,990 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7 items
  • 632 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 1 items
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 86 items
  • 3 items
  • 1,177 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 12,178 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,560 items Explore
  • 214 items
  • 17,032 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 626 items Explore
  • 1,586 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 1,040 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 308 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Saint Agatha

Carlo Dolci (Florence 1616 – Florence 1687)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1665 - circa 1670

Materials

Oil paint on canvas

Measurements

880 x 730 x 70 mm

Order this image

Collection

Osterley Park and House, London

NT 2900293

Caption

Charged with emotion, this picture depicts the martyrdom of St Agatha, a Christian killed in 3rd-century Sicily. According to medieval legends of her martyrdom, her torture included the removal of her breasts, and here she is shown holding a blood-stained cloth to her chest while looking towards heaven. The painting appears to record a moment of religious ecstasy and love when St Agatha’s wounds were healed as she experienced a vision of St Peter from her cell. It may have been commissioned for display in a private chapel. The Florentine artist Carlo Dolci (1616–87) was known for works that emphasised both the pathos and drama of religious subjects in line with the thinking of the Counter- Reformation movement, which encouraged audiences to connect with the tangible passion and tragedy of biblical narratives. The picture was probably acquired by the banker Sir Robert Child (1674–1721) for his collection of art displayed at Osterley House in the early 18th century, but it was sold in 1934 and repurchased by the National Trust in 2018.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Saint Agatha, by Carlo Dolci (Florence 1616 – Florence 1687), circa 1665-70. The head and shoulders of a young woman with auburn hair looking upwards, with hands crossed over a blood-smeared white cloth which she presses against her breast, wearing a gown with golden-brown sleeves and blue cuffs, and a blue-grey mantle with pink lining. A label on the back of the painting is inscribed 'Osterley Park / Heir Loom'.

Full description

This painting depicts the Christian martyr Saint Agatha of Sicily (c. 231– 251 BC). According to medieval legends of her martyrdom during the persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperor Decius, she was subject to sexual violence and torture, including having her breasts removed. She clutches a white cloth to her chest, covering her wounds; only the smudges of blood on the cloth and her skin hint at the horror of her fate. The painting was probably understood as a depiction of the moment when a vision of Saint Peter appeared to Agatha in the midst of her ordeal and miraculously healed her wounds. Her shining eyes, swollen from tears and turned up to heaven, seem to express suffering, awe and love, all at the same time. The picture is the creation of Carlo Dolci, one of the leading figures of seventeenth-century Florentine art and famous across Europe. As an artist of the Counter Reformation, when the Catholic Church sought to establish empathetic connections between God and the faithful, he used the passionate rhetoric of Baroque painting to inspire veneration of the divine in his viewers. This Saint Agatha, shimmering with drama and beauty, is exemplary of that aim. Saint Agatha is first documented in England in the collection of the banker and connoisseur, Robert Child (1674–1721). He hung it in his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields. By 1782, it is documented in the Yellow Breakfast Room at Osterley Park, which the Child family had acquired through a loan default. By then it was misidentified as an image of Saint Veronica, who wiped Christ's face on the road to Calvary with a cloth, on which was left a miraculous imprint of his face.

Provenance

Acquired by Sir Robert Child (1674-1721) and recorded in the Dining Room of his house on Portugal Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields; by descent to Robert Child (1739-1792), Osterley Park, recorded in the inventory of 1782, as 'Saint Veronica', among the paintings in the Breakfast Room; by descent to his granddaughter, Lady Sarah Sophia Fane (1785-1867), who married George Child-Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey (1773-1859), and thence by descent; Hampton & Sons, Middleton Park, 30 May- 5 June 1934, lot 1935, as 'Saint Veronica'; private collection, Luxembourg, as 'Ingres'; anonymous sale; Van Ham Kunstauktionen, Cologne, 20 November 2009, lot 287, as 'Attributed to Jean-Pierre Franque', where acquired by Jean-Luc Baroni; acquired by the National Trust at Christie’s, King Street, London, 5 July 2018, Old Masters Evening Sale, lot 39, with assistance from a fund set up by the late Hon. Simon Sainsbury, a grant from the Art Fund, gifts to Osterley Park and a private donation.

Makers and roles

Carlo Dolci (Florence 1616 – Florence 1687), painter

References

Baldassari 2015 Francesca Baldassari, Carlo Dolci: Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Florence, 2015, pp. 318-9, addenda, no. 1 Carlo Dolci 1616-1687 (exh cat) Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 30 June - 15 November 2015, pp. 350-2, no. 81

View more details

Related articles