The Crucifixion of St. AndrewEnlarge image

The Crucifixion of St. Andrew, c. 1650-1659

Luca Giordano
Italian, 1634 - 1705
oil on canvas
144.8 x 195.6 cm
Gift of John W. McConnell, Montreal, 1937
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4294)

The saint's arms are tied to the x-shaped cross, but he willingly reaches out to God. His flesh seems transformed by the light that floods over him. His executioners, frightened, pull away. This work was once thought to be by Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), a Spanish painter who settled in Italy, first in Rome and then in Naples. Both its drama and the strong contrast of light and dark seemed characteristic of the artist, who was inspired by Caravaggio. In fact, it is by Luca Giordano, a painter celebrated for his versatility, skill and speed. Giordano, a fellow Neapolitan, emulated Ribera early in his career.




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