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St. Lawrence Distributing the Riches of the Church

Bernardo Strozzi, Italian, 1581–1644
Oil on canvas
Made in
Genoa, Italy, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 236
48 3/8 x 64 1/2 in. (122.9 x 163.8 cm)
framed: 58 1/2 x 75 in. (148.6 x 190.5 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
Through vivid color contrasts, selective highlights, and the saint’s extended left hand, the artist draws us into this scene where the third-century martyr St. Lawrence distributes the Church’s treasures to the poor. Strozzi has captured our attention through the sumptuous grouping of richly ornamented objects that almost burst out of the pictorial space into our world. As we study the faces of the poor who gather to receive their gifts, we too are drawn to the saint who dispenses such largesse.
Marchese Spinola, Genoa, Italy [1]

by 1940 - 1944
Jacob M. Heimann, New York, NY, USA [2]

1944 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Jacob M. Heimann [3]

The main source for this provenance is Mortari's catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 322 [Mortari, Luisa. "Bernardo Strozzi." Luca: Edizioni de Luca, 1995]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] The catalogue raisonné, as well as Jacob M. Heimann's bill of sale to the Museum dated June 12, 1944, indicate that the picture was originally in the collection of Marchese Spinola [SLAM document files].

[2] In 1940, Heimann lent this picture to the International Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco ["Art." Golden Gate Exhibition, San Francisco, 1940, cat. no 166].

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, March 2, 1944.
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