TIBALDI, Pellegrino
(b. 1527, Puria (Valsolda), d. 1596, Milano)

Martyrdom of St Lawrence

Oil on canvas, 419 x 315 cm
Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial

Upon his arrival at the Escorial, Tibaldi was assigned to decorate various part of the Basilica. After frescoing the ceiling and the walls of the sagraria, a narrow place behind the high altar, he completed the frescoes in the cloister, then continued in the library, and finally completed the main altar., which contained five pictures executed by Federico Zuccaro and three new works by Tibaldi, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Martyrdom of St Lawrence.

In the Martyrdom of St Lawrence the saint is grilled to a turn by the executioner's forked spear, resulting in a rather bizarre culinary interpretation of the text.