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A devout Saint Anthony looks heavenward, but at what? The stories attached to his life may offer a clue. Legend says that the infant Christ appeared to him in a divine vision. This narrow painting likely belonged to a multi-panel altarpiece whose central image depicted the Virgin and Child. Saint Anthony would have been offering his prayers to them. Famed for his striking realism, Carlo Crivelli treats every detail of this figure with his precise style—from the veins in the saint’s forehead to the turnings of his rope belt. The lilies, which symbolize Anthony’s purity, are so crisply defined that they almost look like chiseled stone.

83.585

Details

  • Title: Saint Anthony of Padua
  • Creator: Carlo Crivelli
  • Date: ca.1475-80
  • Location Created: Ascoli Piceno, Italy
  • Provenance: Contini Bonacossi Collection, Florence; E.V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to The Chrysler Museum, 1983.
  • Physical Dimensions: 59 3/4 x 19 5/8 in. (151.8 x 49.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on wood

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