Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Michele Parrasio: Saint Pope Pius V

Michele Parrasio ca.1516-1578
Cristo yacente adorado por el papa San Pío V / St Pope Pius V in adoration of the Crucified Christ 1572-1575
Oil on canvas 42 x 30cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

I have put in this picture simply because in painting Saint Pope Pius V always seemed to get a raw deal.

In other portraits of him which I have seen, the portraits of him have been either frightening or extremely unattractive.

The figure of Saint Pope Pius V, Michael Ghislieri (1504-1572), is actually a portrait of the Pope.

This picture came into the possession of the Monasterio de El Escorial during the reign of King Philip II of Spain (1556-1598).

The main theme is the exaltation of the Eucharist. By dying, Christ destroyed Death through his Resurrection. Note the human skeleton at the bottom of the picture: the grave of Adam. This is a reference to the redemption from Original Sin.

Parrasio Micheli (or Michieli) was Titian's pupil who later followed the style of Paolo Veronese.

The composition derived from a sketch by Veronese.

The artist used this composition again for an altarpiece in the Venetian church of St Joseph. However where there is the Pope he substituted a self-portrait.

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