Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas, about 1695. Oil paint on wood panel; 20¾ × 14½ in. Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard family, 1990.361.
This finely painted oil on panel depicts the vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274). Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar and theologian. In this episode, he experiences a vision of the Virgin Mary and is given a chastity belt by two angels. In the background, a prostitute, hired by Aquinas' family to seduce him away from a holy life, flees the scene.
The painting is based on a print of 1689-91 by Benoit Thiboust (French), after the painting in Rome by Giacinto Calandrucci (Italian). It was common practice for Spanish Colonial painters to reference European engravings brought to the New World for iconographic sources (for additional information see www.colonialart.org). The painting dates to the 1690s and is among the finest works by this painter outside of Colombia.
-- Michael A. Brown and Julie Wilson Frick, 2013 (updated 2023, Kathryn Santner)