A Monk Carrying a Cross

Follower of Bartolomé Esteban Murilloabout 1680 - 1700

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

With light, delicate strokes, the artist created a scene of almost geometric simplification. Using spare contours and pale washes, he created the long cloak that covers the body of the monk; his small, round head; and the straight lines of the cross. Faint shadows extend out from either foot, as well as from the small winged putto holding an empty escutcheon in the left corner, giving both figures an impression of depth.

Scholars guess that the monk may be San Diego de Henares de Alcalà, a Spanish lay brother of the Capuchin order who died in 1463. San Diego was sent with missionaries to the Canary Islands and was canonized by Philip II of Spain. The king prayed to him when his son lay dying and, out of gratitude for the boy's recovery, asked the pope to make him a saint. Artists often drew San Diego carrying a cross or with the infant Jesus Christ in his arms.

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  • Title: A Monk Carrying a Cross
  • Creator: Follower of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
  • Date: about 1680 - 1700
  • Physical Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.2 cm (10 1/16 x 6 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brown wash over black chalk
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 94.GA.98
  • Markings: Markings: Marked verso with the collection mark of Sir John Witt (L. Suppl. 646).
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Spanish
  • Classification: Drawings


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