CHAMPAIGNE, Jean-Baptiste de
(b. 1631, Bruxelles, d. 1681, Paris)

The Martyrdom of St Lawrence

c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 82 x 69 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This painting may have functioned both as an independent devotional work as the reduction of a much larger work. It bears many characteristics of the work of Philippe de Champaigne, Jean_Baptiste's uncle, since Jean-Baptiste worked in a style closely modeled on that of Philippe, to the extent that their hands are sometimes difficult to distinguished. In fact The Martyrdom of St Lawrence was formerly attributed to Philippe due to a misleading later addition at lower left of the painting.

The most famous prototypes of the subject for seventeenth-century artists would have been the celebrated altarpieces by Titian in the church of the Gesuiti, Venice, and at the Escorial.