ZURBARÁN, Francisco de
(b. 1598, Fuente de Cantos, d. 1664, Madrid)
Oil on canvas, 292 x 225 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
In contrast to other geniuses of the Spanish golden age, Zurbarán appears modest, lacking their boldness of innovative approaches and technical virtuosity. But he was far more strongly connected with traditional Spanish piety, with its ardor and tendency to mysticism. Acclaimed by his contemporaries, he executed many commissions for monastery buildings. The Monastery of San José was the source of this large image of St Lawrence shown in deacon's vestments and the instrument of his martyrdom, the gridiron on which he was said to have been roasted alive.