Florence, 1585-1644

Saint Dorothea

oil on canvas, cm 148×120 

initialled and dated GB F 1631


This canvas is the companion piece of the Saint Agnes in this same catalogue and shares its dimensions and origin. The young martyr is depicted sitting, chained to the rocks in the background and dressed in the ancient style, with a splendid white tunic of strongly classic taste and a deep red cloak, which chromatically anchors the composition. As with her twin, an angel emerges from the semi darkness, offering in this case a plate with petals to the saint, as per her traditional iconography.

The canvas is signed and dated and no other versions of this invention are known. It represents however one of the highest peaks in the painter’s production, and it demonstrates his reception of the classicist teachings of the Roman school, declined in a personal and possibly antinaturalistic style, where the soft and silky textures fill the painting with a most beautiful and delicate poetry.