Comune di Vicenza

Vicenza: città patrimonio dell'Unesco

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Saint Christopher

AuthorGiovanni Badile
Period(Verona 1379 - 1448/1451)
SupportoTavola, 57x27
InventoryA 163

The panel with a gold background, donated to the Gallery by the well-known Vicenza canon Lodovico Gonzati in 1868, was probably once part of a small polyptych, now lost, that perhaps originally stood on the high altar of the church of San Vincenzo in Thiene.

The work, recently attributed to Giovanni Badile (active in Vicenza between 1418 and 1419 and again in 1433), presumably dates back to the Thirties of the fifteenth century and shows a close link with the International Gothic style. However it contains the distinctive features of the language of the painter from Verona, such as the group of rocks on the right, roughly outlined, which are counterbalanced by the precise definition of the ripples of the river and the highly realistic rendering of the two fish swimming close to the saint’s feet. Also the physiognomy of Saint Christopher, whose figure, wrapped in a draped cloak, is striking for the lack of proportion among the various parts of the body, is a typical expression of Badile's painting, while the Child sitting safely on his shoulders recalls models by Michelino da Besozzo.

The intense look exchanged by the two figures, along with their partially opened mouths, points to the mystery revealed: the heavy boy that Saint Christopher is carrying over the dark deep waters of the river is none other than the Christ Child, who finally makes himself known, while the saint’s staff is transformed into a palm tree laden with dates, confirming the truth of the revelation.

This work belongs to the exhibition route:

Musei Civici Vicenza - Museo civico di Palazzo Chiericati, Piazza Matteotti 37/39 Vicenza - phone (+39) 0444 222811 -

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