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The Calling of St. MatthewEnlarge image

The Calling of St. Matthew, c. 1699

Luca Giordano
Italian, 1634 - 1705
brush and brown ink with brown wash over black chalk on ivory laid paper
28.5 x 24.2 cm
Gift of Mrs. Samuel Bronfman, O.B.E., Westmount, Quebec, 1973, in honour of her late husband, Mr. Samuel Bronfman, C.C., LL.D.
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17570)

This drawing is preparatory for a canvas surviving in the Palacio Reale in Madrid, executed during the artist's stay there between 1692 and 1702. There are only minor changes between the drawing and the painting, indicating that the compositional sketch was made toward the conclusion of the design process. The crude and aggressive handling, with its concentration on the broad effects of light and dark, is typical of Giordano, who was notorious among his contemporaries for his rapid working method.

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