Saint Anthony Preaching to the fish

Vieira Lusitano1721

Museu de São Roque

Museu de São Roque

Vieira Lusitano made for the Chapel of St. Anthony in the Church of São Roque two of his best paintings, around 1721. This work represents St. Anthony preaching to the fish in the Adriatic Sea, near Rimini, in Italy. The tale tells that St. Anhony was trying to convert a group of heretics to the catholic faith, but they refused to listen to the message of his sermon; then he decided to address his preaching to the fish of the sea, and the miracle happened – the fish raised their heads out of the water to listen to the the preacher. St. Anthony is featured with his left hand raised and holding a cross, while his right hand is pointing towards the sea. A group of bystanders show bewilderment. The painting, on the opposite wall, represents the temptation of Saint Anthony and the Vision of the Virgin Mary.

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  • Title: Saint Anthony Preaching to the fish
  • Date: 1721
  • Physical Dimensions: w333 x h310 cm (Total)
  • Provenance: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • External Link: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Painter: Francisco Vieira de Matos (Vieira Lusitano)
  • Manufactured: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Commission: The Chapel of St. Anthony was instituted by Pedro Machado de Brito, who left funds to the Society of Jesus with instructions concerning the burial site for him and his descendants, making the House of Charity of Lisbon[Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa] his executor. Both the Misericordia of Lisbon and the Jesuits reached an agreement that the chapel should be dedicated to Saint Anthony.

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