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Adam Elsheimer (18 March 1578  11 December 1610) Saint Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom about 16001 Oil on copper,  26.7 x 20.6 cm National Gallery, London, UK
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Title: Saint Lawrence
Description:

Adam Elsheimer (18 March 1578 – 11 December 1610)
Saint Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom
about 1600­1
Oil on copper,  26.7 x 20.6 cm
National Gallery, London, UK

 


Inscribed, on the horseman's banner: S.P.Q. [R] (Senatus Populusque Romanus); and, on the pedestal of the statue: FA/OE(?)/HE (possibly either from Ovid's Metamorphoses (IX, 255­7), or the following invented inscription: FActus Di-/ ONysus est/ HErcules).

According to The Golden Legend Saint Lawrence was martyred for his faith in the year AD 258 in Rome; the architecture in the background is reminiscent of the ruins of the ancient city. He was burnt over a gridiron which is being prepared at the right. The saint, at the left, is being disrobed, surrounded by exotic figures. An angel above him holds a palm, a symbol of his impending martyrdom. Lawrence was killed because he refused to reveal what were thought to be the Treasures of the Church. In Saint Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom he also seems to be refusing to worship false gods; the bearded figure to his left points towards the statue of Hercules at the right.

Saint Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom can probably be dated to the very early years of the seventeenth century when the artist was first in Rome.

Possibly S. Feitama sale, Amsterdam, 16 October 1758 (lot 64); Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876.

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Adam Elsheimer (18 March 1578  11 December 1610) The Baptism of Christ probably 15981600 Oil on copper,  28.1 x 21 cm National Gallery, London, UKAdam Elsheimer (18 March 1578  11 December 1610) Saint Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom about 16001 Oil on copper,  26.7 x 20.6 cm National Gallery, London, UKAdam Elsheimer (18 March 1578  11 December 1610) Saint Paul on Malta about 1600 Oil on copper,  16.8 x 21.3 cm National Gallery, London, UK
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