(mid-18th cent.), oil, canvas, 119 x 90,4 cm
signed back: PTrogher (?, probably a ligature of P and T)
NG S 1313, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
The saint, with a rapturous expression on his face, is embracing the instrument of his martyrdom, a cross in the form of the letter X. The formal elements of the painting show a clear dependence on early 18th century Venetian art, especially on Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and Giovanni Battista Pittoni, both in the treatment of light and in the brushwork.
The Österreichisches Barockmuseum in Vienna holds a variant of this painting, (oil on canvas, 123 x 93 cm, Inv. No. 3680), with a number of small differences but also with Troger’s signature (see E. Baum: Katalog des Österreichischen Barockmuseums im Unteren Belvedere in Wien, II, Vienna 1980, p. 706, Cat. No. 502, Fig. on p. 707). Another version of this picture, which is also signed and dated 1738 (the number 3 is almost indecipherable), is kept in the parish house of the church of the Pauline congregation (Paulanerkiche) in Vienna.
Restored: 1960, ZSV, Ljubljana; 1983, Kemal Selmanović.
Provenance: Russia (?); Berlin (?); Paris 1931; the collector Joco Novaković bought the painting in Istanbul; in the Novaković collection in Belgrade it was classified as a work by Ribera; removed from that collection; after World War II the painting came to the Narodna galerija. – On the back of the canvas is an inscription: Ghalib Kemaly / montage sur / châssis Paris 6.2.931 and in pencil: RIBERA.
Exhibitions: 1960, Ljubljana, No. 123; 1993, Ljubljana, No. 71.
Lit.: Cevc 1960, p. 44, Cat. No. 123, Fig. 52 (Benković: A Hermit – St. Jerome?); Gamulin 1960, p. 16, with Fig. (Benković: St. Andrew); Gamulin 1961b, pp. 112–114, Fig. 1 on p. 113 (Benković: St. Andrew); Gamulin 1964, pp. 169–172, Fig. 98 (Benković: St. Andrew); Gamulin 1972, p. 216, Fig. 291; Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, pp. 145, Cat. No. 71, Fig. 75; Cevc 1986, p. 127; Krückman 1988, p. 333 (as wrongly attributed to Benković, according to Gamulin it is by Troger); Lipoglavšek-Cimperman 1992, p. 128, Fig. 127; Tomić 1992, p. 404.