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Saint Rosalia and the Hunter

1970-1973 Andrea Badami Born: Omaha, Nebraska 1913 Died: Tucson, Arizona 2002 oil on canvas 38 7/8 x 58 5/8 in. (98.7 x 148.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.98 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“I want to make something beautiful sometimes. Seventy-five percent or eighty percent perfect---no pictures are one hundred percent perfect.” Andrea Badami, quoted by Gregg Blasdel in Symbols and Images, courtesy Mr. and Mrs. Elias Getz, Twentieth-century American Folk Art and Artists, Herbert W. Hemphill Jr. and Julia Weissman, 1974

Luce Center Label

Andrea Badami created many paintings inspired by religious themes, possibly because he found it easier to express his beliefs in pictures than through his limited English. This image shows Saint Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily. The city suffered a plague epidemic in 1624 and according to local legend Rosalia appeared to one of the victims. She showed him the cave in Mount Pellegrino where her remains were buried, and when they carried her bones through the city, the plague was swept away (Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints, vol. 3, 1963). Badami’s painting shows a man and his dog with the saint in the entrance to her cave. The rainbow of light coming from the candle inside the cave underscores Rosalia’s mission as a divine messenger.


Animal - dog

Figure male - full length

Occupation - hunter

Religion - saint - St. Rosalia


folk art

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Andrea Badami

Born: Omaha, Nebraska 1913 Died: Tucson, Arizona 2002

More works in the collection by
Andrea Badami