Stefano Maria Legnani, called Il Legnanino, attributed to - A Saint with a Ciborium
Stefano Maria Legnani, called Il Legnanino, attributed to
A Saint with a Ciborium
Oil on canvas. 222 x 163.5 cm.
Hand inscribed to the reverse of the unlined canvas: “No 3 Sinistra”.
Il Legnanino was a member of an illustrious family of artists from Lombardy, and was taught to paint by his father and in the studio of Carlo Cignani in Milan. A sojourn to Rome also brought him into contact with Carlo Maratta. Upon his return to Lombardy, Legnani became a sought-after and innovative painter of frescoes and panels, who painted for numerous churches as well as for the Savoy court. This large canvas depicts a young man with a ciborium administering the sacrament to a hermit or penitent woman. The hunting horn which the man carries with him could be the identifying attribute of Saint Eustace or Saint Hubert, but neither of their legends include a communion scene. The legend of Saint Mary of Egypt tells how she was brought communion by the monk Zosimus, but the young man with a hunting horn bears no resemblance to this figure. The work's iconography must therefore remain unidentified at present. It could be deciphered if more were to be discovered concerning the work's original location, as it appears to have been intended as an altarpiece.