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Monday, November 05, 2007

Saint Teresa of Ávila and Bernardino de Mendoza

Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640)
Saint Teresa of Ávila Interceding for Souls in Purgatory
Oil on wood; 25 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (64.1 x 48.9 cm)
Metropolitan Museum
New York

A reduced workshop version of a large altarpiece painted by Rubens about 1630 to 1633 for the Church of the Discalced Carmelites in Antwerp.

The scene is based on the story of Bernardino de Mendoza, a young Spaniard who had given Saint Teresa land on which to build a convent.

Bernardino died before it could be built, and Christ appeared to Saint Teresa informing her that his soul could not be released from Purgatory until the convent was completed.

Bernardino appears in Purgatory at the left of the painting.