The Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua

Topics: Anthony of Padua, Franciscan, Padua Pages: 2 (780 words) Published: March 14, 2006
As I visited the Chrysler Museum of Arts, I looked at several different types of artwork. There was one particular painting that really caught my eye, and this was the painting of The Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua by Claudio Coello. As I viewed the painting, I noticed that the theatrical backdrop was of an Italianate interior. Located against the backdrop was Anthony of Padua, a Franciscan monk dressed in dark robes and baring his head according to the dictates of his order, falls to his knees in humility. Above him, the nude Christ Child – his weight balanced between a glistening globe and the head of an angel – reaches toward Anthony in a sign of blessing. The globe and Christ Child are supported by a host of cherubim. Anthony kneels before an altar draped in a plush red cloth. In the foreground, beside the altar, a metal urn holds a branch of white lilies, the traditional symbol of purity, chastity, and innocence, and I found this to be very astounding. On the other side of the altar, were two putti (little angels) converse in the shadows, one of whom holds a brown book while the other gestures towards the scene taking place in front of them. Meanwhile, two putti carrying a garland of pink roses (signifying grace and gentility) fly behind Anthony. I also noticed that the artist, Claudio Coello, had signed the painting in the lower left-hand corner (CLAUDIO FA 63). The signature is similar to that on Coello's earliest signed painting, Christ at the Door of the Temple (1660, Prado Museum, Madrid). In both, the letters and date appear to be "carved" into stone – here, on the platform on which the altar rests. Not only was this depiction of St. Anthony of Padua the first in Coello's oeuvre (he eventually executed at least three representations of the saint), but it is also one of the artist's earliest known works. It has been speculated that The Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua may have originally been set into a frame with an arched upper portion. I...
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