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Probably, China, Macau, mid-17th century
Colour on paper
Patrimonio del Fondo Edifici di Culto, amministrato dal Ministero dell’Interno, on loan to Chiesa del SS. nome di Gesù, Rome

This painting depicts the mass killing at Nagasaki in 1622, when more than 55 Christians were executed. The victims included Europeans, Japanese, and Koreans. Missionaries are tied to stakes in a fire pit; men with swords are decapitating Christian families. The crowd included Europeans, Chinese, and Africans, as well as Japanese.

The painting might have been made in Macau by an artist from the Jesuit Painting School in Japan. The precise details suggest that it was painted by an eyewitness. The trees in back are reminiscent of those on Japanese screen paintings, and this work may originally have been mounted as a scroll or screen.

Details

  • Title: Martyrdom of Nagasaki, 1622

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