Sant' Eleuterio benedice alcuni devoti

Saint Eleutherius Blessing The Faithful

Jacopo Da Ponte Detto Bassano

Artwork not on display
Author
Jacopo Da Ponte Detto Bassano
Bassano, 1510 c. - Bassano, 1592
Title
Saint Eleutherius Blessing The Faithful
Catalogue
401
Hall
Hall XIII

The altarpiece comes from the Vicenza church of Sant’Eleuterio and was consigned to the Accademia after the Napoleonic Suppression in May 1829. In the upper right section we have the saint after whom the church was named, Eleutherius (a second-century pope and bishop of Rome), shown blessing a group of followers with his monstrance. These followers probably include members of the Marzari confraternity, who had commissioned the altarpiece. The horizontal tripartite structure of the altarpiece describes, in its upper section, Jesus as he blesses the saint accompanied by angels, while in the lower section we have several men at arms who are in all probabilty linked to the confraternity of the Bombardiers who were also connected with the church.

A work of great compositional strength, the altarpiece has variously been judged by scholars to be an autograph work by Jacopo Bassano, or a collaboration with his sons Leandro or Girolamo. The existence of several preparatory studies (now conserved at Darmstadt and Montpellier) by Bassano is confirmation of the efforts he lavished on the conception of the work, while the quality itself, especially in the figures in the lower section, would lead us to believe that it is substantially an autograph work undertaken in the maestro’s mature phase in about the 1670s.