This rediscovered work by the French artist Claude Vignon was almost certainly executed during the 1610s while he was resident in Rome. Although Vignon is not actually documented in Rome until 1618-19 he was probably based there throughout that decade. There he joined a circle of French artists, that included Simon Vouet and Valentin de Boullogne, who were all heavily influenced by the work of the recently deceased Caravaggio, and also by that of his closest follower, Bartolomeo Manfredi. The present work would seem to have been executed soon after Vignon completed the four canvases depicting the four fathers of the church1 and the series of half-length saints in horizontal formats, which Pacht Bassani dates to circa 1615; compare, for example, the present work with the St Paul in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin.2
We are grateful to Mme. Paola Pacht Bassani for both endorsing the attribution to Vignon following first-hand inspection of the work and for dating it to Vignon's Roman period.
1. See P. Pacht Bassani, Claude Vignon, Paris 1992, p. 173, no. 13, reproduced.
2. Idem, pp. 163-168, nos. 1-4, all reproduced.
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