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Two Studies for 'Saint Stephen Being Led to His Martyrdom' 
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Two Studies for 'Saint Stephen Being Led to His Martyrdom' (recto)


Juan de Juanes (ca. 1510 - 1579)

Pen and brown ink, grey wash and (later?) traces of red chalk on paper

Width: 31.5 cm; Height: 21.7 cm;

Later inscription in brown ink, upper centre right & verso, 530 [530 reales] //
Later inscription in brown ink, top right & verso, fragments of accounts [not transcribed]
Later inscription in brown ink, upper centre left & verso, No. 55 //
Signature in ink, upper right & verso, Juan de Juanes //

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt Fund; purchase; 1963

About this work
According to the Acts of the Apostles (7: 58), Saint Stephen was stoned after having preached Christian salvation. In this energetic drawing, what at first appears to be continuous procession of pulling and pushing figures is in fact two compositions of the same scene with Saint Stephen represented twice. The drawing was preparatory for Juan de Juanes’s altarpiece of 1556 for the parish church of San Esteban, Valencia (now in the Prado, Madrid). Besides recording his name at upper right, the artist also included practical notes related to the commission of the painting, such as prices for the number of ‘heads‘.

The verso of Two Studies for Saint Stephen taken to his Martyrdom contains seemingly unrelated notes by Juan de Juanes, including a Latin epigram about love; the correct proportions for depicting Saint Jerome; a recipe for mordant for gilding, written in Valencian; and an explanation of how to measure the distance across a river, accompanied by a sketch. These notes demonstrate the workshop function of early drawings. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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