The Virgin and Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani in Glory
1743 – oil on canvas, cm 330 x 330
Documentary sources attribute this fine painting adorning the ceiling of the nave of Santa Maria delle Penitenti to Jacopo Marieschi, a pupil of Gaspare Diziani. The scene depicts Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani to whom the church is entitled, kneeling before the Virgin and the Infant. All around a school of cherubs, one of which is holding the Saint’s pastoral staff.
The characters’ natural gestures infuse the scene with a serene atmosphere, accentuated by the light and delicate colour palette. The painter’s language is still reminiscent of the Baroque figurative culture, although Marieschi’s painting with its thick textured brushstrokes bears a remarkable expressive potential.
Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani was very popular during the eighteenth century and this painting adds to the rich iconography linked to this holy figure – Venice’s first patriarch canonised in 1690.