Risen Christ with Fourteen Auxiliary Saints
30.1 cm x 20.4 cm (11 7/8 in. x 8 1/16 in.)
(Prague, 1610 - 1674, Prague)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash over black chalk on cream antique
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2006
Skréta trained with artists in the circle of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague but studied further in Italy from 1630 to 1635. He was the most important painter in the transition from late Mannerism to the early Baroque in Bohemia. The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints were a popular cult in Central Europe, and the principal saint here, Vitus, identified by the cauldron of his martyrdom, was venerated in Bohemia. While the arched format indicates the composition of an altarpiece, the coating of black chalk on the verso suggests that this drawing was preparatory for a print after the painting. The pronounced angular design, coursing pen work, and physiognomic abbreviation are all characteristic of Skéta’s draftsmanship after his Italian sojourn.