Collection: St. Veronica with Veil

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Mattia Preti – c. 1652 – 1653

Preti’s moving Saint Veronica with the Veil was probably painted during his Neapolitan sojourn. It conforms to the manner he adopted in response to painters such as Jusepe Ribera and Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, who had based their art on Caravaggio’s stark realism and dramatic treatment of light and shade. Like Preti’s full-length Saint Sebastian (Museo di Capodimonte, Naples) painted in 1657 for the church of San Sebastiano, Saint Veronica presents its subject before a dark background, theatrically illuminated from above. The effect gives the saint a formidable presence as she seemingly emerges from the canvas to present the sudarium to the viewer. Veronica gazes heavenward, tears rolling softly down her cheeks, as she acknowledges the divine source that illuminates her.

Her feast day is July 12.