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The Vision of St Romuald: PD.18-1996

An image of Drawing

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Vision of St Romuald


Draughtsman: Sacchi, Andrea




History note: Private collection, Britain; with Luca Baroni [P. & D. Colnaghi]

Legal notes

From the Rylands Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 337 mm
Width: 259 mm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1996) by Colnaghi


This drawing is a preparatory study for Sacchi's most famous painting, 'The Vision of St Romuald' of 1631, now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana [see Ann Sutherland Harris, 'Andrea Sacchi', Princeton, 1977, pp. 61-62, no. 20, pl. 41]. Commissioned by the Camaldolese order in Rome for the high altar of their new church of San Romualdo, the painting depicts the saint describing his vision of Camaldolese monks ascending a ladder to Heaven. Possibly commissioned by Cardinal Lelio Biscia, Vice-Proctor of the Camaldolese order, the painting remained in the church until 1797, when it was taken to Paris to be part of the Musée Napoléon. The painting was back in Rome by 1823 and entered the Pinacoteca Vatican soon after. The 'Vision of St Romuald' was widely copied and secured Sacchi's reputation. Another compositional study for the painting is at Stockholm [NM 1274/1863] [Bjurström and Magnusson, loc. cit.]. Unlike the Fitzwilliam drawing, which is very close to the painting, this differs in that the saint is accompanied by angels rather that by monks. It is likely therefore that the Stockholm drawing was made before the Fitzwilliam one. Further studies for different details of the composition are at Windsor, Paris, Düsseldforf and Besançon. Ann Sutherland Harris [op. cit. p.14] has shown that Sacchi originally was inspired by Antiveduto Grammatica's painting of the same subject at Frascati, probably painted c. 1620.

School or Style

Roman School

Materials used in production

Red chalk wash
Red chalk

Components of the work

Support composed of paper ( grey brown)

Techniques used in production

Drawing : Red chalk and red chalk wash on grey brown paper

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: PD.18-1996
Primary reference Number: 32975
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 16 July 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Vision of St Romuald" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-24 21:53:09

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Vision of St Romuald |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-24 21:53:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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