Francisco de Zurbarán, Spanish, 1598-1664
Title: Saint Diego of Alcalá
Date: c.1640
Medium: Oil on canvas
89 x 65 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1864
Object Number: NGI.479
Label TextFrequently depicted in Spanish painting, Saint Diego of Alcalá was a fifteenth-century saint from Andalucia who was renowned for his piety and works of charity. Zurbarán represented him embracing a large cross while looking upwards in ecstasy. The light-and-dark contrast affords the saint remarkable presence. The reflections on his face are reminiscent of a polychromed wood sculpture. Zurbarán, one of the greatest painters of seventeenth-century Seville, painted this work for the Franciscan order. He completed more paintings for this than for any other religious order over the course of his career.

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