Giambattista Canal

Study for the Decoration of a Ceiling with the Martyrdom of St. Agatha

c. 1802
Giambattista Canal was celebrated for his painted decorations that embellished the walls and ceilings of numerous palaces, theatres and churches all over Veneto. This sheet is an accomplished study for a fresco that adorns the ceiling of the parish church of Fossalunga di Vedelago, near Treviso, representing the "Martyrdom of St. Agatha". Preoccupied with the integration of his design into the existing surrounding architecture, the artist reproduced on his drawing the entablature below the fresco. In the temple frieze in his drawing, he also reproduced the style of the frieze from the entablature, inviting the viewer to perceive his design as an extension of the actual architecture of the church and to connect the tangible space of the viewer or worshipper (the church itself) with the fictive space of Agatha's martyrdom.
Title
Study for the Decoration of a Ceiling with the Martyrdom of St. Agatha
Date
c. 1802
Medium
Drawing
Materials
pen and brown ink with brown wash and watercolour on laid paper
Dimensions
52.8 x 35.7 cm; image: 49.4 x 24.8 cm
Nationality
Italian
Credit line
Purchased 1951
Accession number
6043