The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, after Titian
49.7 cm x 35 cm (19 9/16 in. x 13 3/4 in.)
(Hoorn, The Netherlands, 1533 - 1578, Rome)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
The first version of the Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence was painted for the church of Santa Maria dei Crociferi, Venice, between 1548 and 1557. It survives in the church of the Gesuiti. The second was ordered by Philip II in 1564 for the church of his Escorial Palace, delivered in 1571, and passed to the Prado. Coincident with the completion of the second version, Titian engaged Cort to engrave a composition that incorporates elements of both versions and likely depended upon a separate drawing by Titian. Cort also created a second, practically identical version (exhibited adjacent), perhaps to allow more than one publisher to issue the reproduction simultaneously. The reputation of the paintings and the popularity of the print are underscored by the existence of numerous contemporary copies. The third version exhibited is one of the most accomplished.