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Saint Gregory the Great
Carducho, Vicente
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Carducho, Vicente

Florence (Italy), 1576 - Madrid (Spain), 1638

Carducho, Vicente See author's file

Saint Gregory the Great

1626 - 1634. Grey-brown wash, White lead, Black chalk, Squared-up on grey paper.
Not on display

During the Counter-Reformation, the figure of Saint Gregory the Great became particularly important as an example for the clergy due to his dual status as pontiff and saint. In Carducho’s oeuvre alone, including both paintings and drawings there are more than ten images of him. In this drawing, the saint – adorned with characteristic elements of his pontifical dignity – receives divine inspiration as he prepares to write. The scene is set in a noble architectural interior, which opens to the outside through a balcony.

There is no record of the intended use of this sketch. It may have been for an altarpiece such as that of Saint Eulogius of Cordoba, but there is no documentary evidence of this alleged painting. Neither is it probable that it depicts one of the fathers of the Church in the funerary chapel of Saint John Alcocer in the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. However, it may have been intended for the altar of a devout confraternity dedicated to the consolation of souls in purgatory, since the saint’s patronage extended considerably to this type of devotion after the Council of Trent.

Carducho executed the drawing in black pencil, using it to emphasise the contours of the main elements of the scene. Employing the blue of the paper as a base, he then created the lights and shadows. Afterwards, he gave depth to the whole work with a brown wash applied with two different tones: a more diluted one (to tone practically the whole sheet, leaving free those points he wished to illuminate) and one of greater intensity (to create the shadows, volumes, the strength of the textures and the velvety quality of the cloth that covers the buffet). Finally, he employed white lead to highlight the curtain, the tiara, the rain cape, the cross and the dove of the Holy Spirit.

Pascual Chenel, Á.; Rodríguez Rebollo, A., Vicente Carducho. Dibujos Catálogo razonado, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España - Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, 2015, p.198-199 n.38

Technical data

Related artworks

Saint Gregory the Great
Grey-brown wash, Black chalk on dark yellow paper, 1620 - 1634
Carducho, Vicente
Inventory number
Carducho, Vicente
Saint Gregory the Great
1626 - 1634
Grey-brown wash; White lead; Black chalk; Squared-up
Grey paper
Height: 310 mm; Width: 206 mm
Ceán Bermúdez Collection; Lefort Collection; Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Catalogue de la collection de dessins anciens de maîtres espagnols, flamands, français, hollandais et italiens, pièces rares de l'oeuvre de Goya: composant le cabinet de M. Paul Lefort, [s.n], París, 1869, pp. nº 47.

Mayer, August L., Historia de la Pintura Española, EspasaCalpe, Madrid, 1928, pp. 413.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Dibujos Españoles.Vol. II. Siglo XVI y primer tercio del XVII, II, Hauser y Menet, Madrid, 1930, pp. 171.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Catálogo de Dibujos. Vol.I. Dibujos españoles siglos XV-XVII, Madrid, 1972, pp. 67.

Pascual Chenel, Á.; Rodríguez Rebollo, A., Vicente Carducho. Dibujos Catálogo razonado, Biblioteca Nacional de España - Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, Madrid, 2015, pp. 198-199 n.38.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 1735.

Inscriptions +

Vincº. Carducho.
Inscribed in pen and ink. Front, Lower right area

Exhibitions +

Vicente Carducho (1576-1638)
28.05.2015 - 06.09.2015

Update date: 20-08-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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