VERONESE, Paolo
(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

The Vision of St Helena

1575-78
Oil on canvas, 198 x 116 cm
National Gallery, London

Flavia Julia Helena (d. c. 329), the mother of Constantine the Great, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, so legend tells us, to find the Cross of Christ, which had appeared to her in a dream. Veronese did very few single-figure pictures, Raimondi's engraving forms the starting point for the impressive, simply structured composition, which is wholly imbued with the humanized view of the saint.