Alessandro Maganza

(Vicenza, 1550 - Vicenza, 1632)

Saint Augustine Visiting Saint Jerome After he Expired

pen, brush and brown ink, black chalk on paper

1550 x 1632 mm (61.02 x 64.25 inches)

  • Reference Number: 0239
  • Price: € 3.500,00 - circa US $ 3.920,00

The lifeless body of saint Jerome is on the ground in the desert, his head and shoulders resting on a rock; two women are mourning him while behind is coming saint Augustine in prayer, who went on the long journey after having been miraculously warned in a vision of the theologian’s imminent death.

Although the two Doctors of the Church had never met, we know of the many letters they wrote each other, and of Augustine’s veneration for Jerome’s writings. In a tradition that has been historically opened towards the cultural influences from the East and the area of the Mediterranean Sea (and we have to keep in mind that the worship of these two saints was originally from the Easter Mediterranean area) such as the Venetian tradition, there are many representations of Jerome’s appearance to Augustine informing him of his death; on the contrary the iconographies of the journey of the bishop of Hippo to visit the friend’s sepulchre are much rarer – hence increasing even more the value of our drawing.

The quality of the lines and shadings is excellent and we can undoubtedly assign it to the painter from Vicenza Alessandro Maganza: he trained in his hometown mainly on Paolo Veronese’s writings and since an early age his style developed towards Jacopo Tintoretto and Palma il Giovane. His workshop was active for over 50 years throughout the dioceses of Vicenza and Padua, impacting on the subjects represented in the altarpieces, in line with the decrees of the Council of Trent concerning art.

Our drawing is most likely a preliminary study for an altar painting in the style of Tintoretto: the profiles of the two women inspired by the master’s models attest to it. In the wide catalogue of Maganza’s graphic works we can compare our drawing to the Study for the Martyrdom of Saints Leontius and Carpophorus (Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, preparatory for the altarpiece of the Cathedral of Vicenza), or to the studies for the canvases of Palazzo del Podestà in Vicenza (brought to the critics attention by Ornella Matarrese: O. Matarrese, I Maganza per il Palazzo del Podestà di Vicenza e un’ipotesi per il Palazzo Pretorio di Verona, in “Verona illustrata”, XI, 1998, pp. 21-29). We can therefore date our drawing back to around 1620.


We will donate 20% of the sale price for this drawing to the Fiera Milano Hospital, built in record time to fight Coronavirus. We will send a copy of the donation receipt to buyer.

More information