Saint Teresa in glory

Santa Teresa in gloria

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Bernardo Strozzi, detto il Cappuccino (Campo Ligure o Genova, 1582 - Venezia, 1644)

Technique and Dimensions:

Oil on canvas, cm. 345 x 210


Genova, Musei di Strada Nuova - Palazzo Bianco, inv. PB49


In the collections from the Church of S. Teresa all'Acquaverde

The great Saint Teresa in Glory is the work of Bernardo Strozzi and was executed for the high altar of a Genoese church dedicated to the saint, which no longer exists today. Teresa d'Avila, in the black dress of the Discalced Carmelites, stands in the center of the painting with her eyes turned to the sky, while from above a golden light rains down that tears apart the black clouds that make her crown. The triumph of angels bears the attributes that accompany the saint in her glory. The open book refers to her activity as a writer and to being proclaimed, along with a few other women, Doctor of the Church. The dart symbolizes the arrow that hurts her heart, in which the name of Jesus is engraved, because she called herself Teresa of Jesus. In the 17th century, the pictorial and sculptural images of the mystic, Spanish reformer of the Carmelite order, were multiplied following her canonization in 1622. So the work could not be performed before this date. It is, therefore, one of the last paintings made in his city by the painter and Capuchin friar, before taking refuge in Venice in 1633. It was one of the artist’s rare works visible in public. After the suppression, the monastery became the seat of the Royal College of Marina in 1817 and the painting remained there until 1875