St Martina calling down Lightning on the Idols

Pietro da Cortona17th century

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

Saint Martina refused to worship at the Temple of Apollo, which was destroyed when she called down a bolt of lightning. DPG226 is a copy of Cortona's original in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, probably of the early to mid-1640s.


  • Title: St Martina calling down Lightning on the Idols
  • Date: 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w870 x h1153 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Italian
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Noel Desenfans, 1802-1807: London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 18 Mar. 1802, lot 160 ('Cortona-Religion sent to Men'. Descriptive Catalogue no. 17: 'the sky is open, and presents a choir of angels and cherubs, in the midst of whom, Religion, in the form of a virgin, is just descended on the earth, at the very moment when two young women were going to be sacrificed to idols. On the right of the picture the incense is already burning at the entrance of their temple, when all at once, thunder from heaven, falls on the idols and the sacrificator himself. On the left, another priest, whose forehead is bound with leaves, is seen advancing with the victims led by soldiers: but at the report of thunder, and the sight of the idols overturned, some fall postrate, others frightened and surprized disperse, whilst Religion, with her eyes fixed on heaven, is offering up thanks'). Handwritten note in copy of catalogue at The Hague, RKD: '4 1/2 h. 3'. £37.16 (bt in); London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; 1813 inv., no. 147 ('The Triumph of Religion ')
  • After: Cortona, Pietro da
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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