Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saint Albert of Sicily (Trapani)

Antonio de Pereda y Salgado 1611 - 1678
San Alberto de Sicilia (Saint Albert of Sicily or Trapani)
Oil on canvas
116 cm x 78 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

On the death of his patron Crescenzi, Pereda was expelled from the Royal Spanish Court in 1635

He was then commissioned by religious institutions to carry out religious works or with a religious theme

This work was commissioned for the Carmelite (Discalced) convent of Saint Damasus in Madrid

The Carmelite saint was born in Trapani, about 1240, and became provincial of his order in the island of Sicily

He died in Messina in 1307

He is considered another patron and protector, or ‘Father of the Order’

There is often confusion between Saint Albert of Jerusalem – lawgiver of Carmel – and  Saint Albert of  Trapani – father of the Order – which has caused the latter to be somewhat overlooked.

Albert of Trapani  was distinguished for his preaching, working miracles, and his desire for prayer.

From the 16th century pictures of Albert were in practically all the convents and monasteries of the Order

In particular among  the many with a devotion to this saint were Saint Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila) and Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi.

St Teresa asked the Dominican Diego de Yanguas to write a biography of St Albert which he did. She asked Don Teutonio to publish it. She wanted this book published with her Way of Perfection

The books were published in February 1583, four months after Teresa’s death.

He is shown picured holding a lily, a book, or a crucifix

In the late 15th century Sforza Book of Hours we see him preaching and healing

Giovan Pietro Birago (active 1471 - 1513)
St Albert of Trapani
c. 1490-1494
Add MS 34294, f 204
The Sforza Book of Hours Volume 3
130 x 95 mm
The British Library, London

In the Cathedral at Prato in Italy, his image occupies a prominent place  on the end wall of the choir beside the cycle on the lives of Sts Stephen and John the Baptist. The work is also by Fra Filippo Lippi and was composed while he was in safety in Prato from 1452-1465

Lippi was also a Carmelite

Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1406 circa – 1469)
St Alberto of Trapani
The Duomo, Prato

Here we see him depicted  in a print by the Carmelite artist Giovanni Maria da Brescia (active 1500 - 1512).

He is second from the right at the bottom pictured along side other saints

Giovanni Maria da Brescia (active 1500 - 1512)
The Virgin and Christ Child appearing to five saints, from left John the Baptist, Angelus, Cyril of Constantinople, Albert of Sicily and St Jerome
331  x 231 mm
The British Museum, London

And in this print from about  1615 by Hieronymus Wierix we  see the adoration of God and veneration of Mary by St Albert and his "companion saint", St Angelus, Martyr

Hieronymus Wierix (1553 - 1619)
The Adoration of God and Veneration of the Virgin by Saints Albert of Trapani and Angelus, Martyr
c. 1615
92 mm x 60 mm
The British Museum, London