The Martyrdom of Saint Justina

Object Details

Title:

The Martyrdom of Saint Justina

Artist/Maker(s):

Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, 1528 - 1588)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Flanders (Birthplace)

Date:

1575

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, brush with brown and gray washes, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper; squared in black chalk for transfer

Dimensions:

47 x 24 cm (18 1/2 x 9 7/16 in.)

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Enthroned and elegantly dressed, Justina of Padua looks toward the heavens in the center of the composition, pleading for intercession. Justina was a Christian martyr who died under the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Maximian. Her tormentors surround her, on the verge of stabbing her to death, while child angels descend from heaven bearing her martyr's crown and palm.

Paolo Veronese made this highly finished modello in preparation for an altarpiece for Saint Giustina in Padua, the church built in the fifth century on the site of the Justina's martyrdom. Veronese and his studio painted the altarpiece from 1574 to 1575, using the drawing as a guide. Its squaring--the light ruling of a grid in black chalk--allowed the design to be transferred to the surface of the altarpiece prior to painting. Veronese used varying amounts of white bodycolor throughout, from the thickly painted, brilliant white light of the heavens in the upper part of the drawing to the more thinly applied highlights in the draperies of the figures below.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (116)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (53)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Figural Compositional Drawings from the 16th to the 19th Century (August 31 to December 8, 1996) (53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), August 31 to December 8, 1996
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006) (53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (53)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010
Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice (December 7, 2012 to April 14, 2013) (30)
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, (Sarasota), December 7, 2012 to April 14, 2013