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Apotheosis of Saint Stanislaus

Artist: Franz Anton Maulbertsch
(Langenargen, 1724 – Vienna, 1796)

Date: 1760s
Medium: pen, brown ink, grey, brown wash on paper
Dimensions: 398 × 239 mm
Classification: drawing
Inventory Number: 738
Department: Prints and Drawings

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Apotheosis of Saint Stanislaus

The figure wearing bishops' vestments and ascending to heaven is St Stanislas, who lived in the 11th century and was canonized in the 13th century. At the start of his tenure as bishop he was on good terms with the King Boleslav II, but as a result of increasing conflicts between them, he excommunicated the king from the church, who, in response, had him killed. Two scenes from his legend can be seen on the lower part of the sheet: on the left he resurrects a person from the dead, and on the right the artist has depicted the moment of his martyrdom as Boleslav II's executioner kills him in the church of St Michael in Krakow. On the basis of its dynamic, painterly style this sketch for an altarpiece may be dated around 1760; a final painted version of the composition is not known.

Szilvia Bodnár