Attributed to Diego Lopez de Escuriaz

The Gadarene Swine: Christ casting out devils into a herd of pigs

Auction Closed

July 7, 10:53 AM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Diego Lopez de Escuriaz

Active Madrid c 1587 - 1623

The Gadarene Swine: Christ casting out devils into a herd of pigs

Pen and brown ink and brown and blue wash, heightened with white, the outlines pricked for transfer, on blue paper

402 by 243 mm

Sale, London, Christie's, 3 July 2007, lot 73

This finely preserved sheet is a cartoon for a currently unidentified liturgical embroidery made in the workshop which produced embroideries for the Monastery of San Lorenzo at the Escorial. The Monastery was founded in 1563 by King Philip II of Spain, and a studio employing numerous Spanish and Italian artists was instituted to design and manufacture the many richly decorated embroideries needed for the vestments, liturgical hangings and other textiles.

A large group of drawings, most of them still bound in two albums at the Escorial, document the work of the studio. The drawings are all in pen and brown ink and brown wash on blue-green paper, with the outlines extensively pricked for transfer. Many of them, like the present lot, do not however show evidence of pouncing. This would suggest that the pricking here was to transfer the design to a second substitute cartoon which was used, and therefore as a result probably irretrievably damaged, for the physical transfer of the design to the fabric support.

The subject depicted in the present work, that of the Gadarene Swine, is extremely rare, with the narrative taken from the book of Matthew, chapter 8, verses 28-34.