Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Saint Paul Speaking before King Agrippa
  • Giorgio Vasari
    born: Arezzo, Duchy of Florence (present-day Italy) ; died: Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany (present-day Italy)
  • Saint Paul Speaking before King Agrippa
  • Where object was made: Italy
  • pen, brown ink, brush and brown wash, over a little black chalk
  • Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.041
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
Like Livo’s Conversion of St. Paul, this drawing is related to the work Vasari undertook for Pope Julius III (Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, r. 1550 -55), who was a distant relative of the artist. The sketch is a study for a never-realized fresco to have been painted in the Del Monte Chapel (1550-52) in the Roman church of San Pietro in Montorio. The drawing’s subject is in keeping with the chapel’s dedication to the apostle Paul, who, along with St. Peter, is one of Rome’s two patron saints. Depicting the imprisoned Paul’s self-defense before King Agrippa in Caesarea (Acts 26:2-23), it shares with Vasari’s Del Monte altarpiece an architectural background comprised of a concave colonnade raised on steps. The sketch’s relatively finished quality may indicate that it was presented for the approval of Julius III or of Michelangelo, who supervised the chapel project at the pope’s request.