Saint Rosalia and the Hunter

  • Andrea Badami, Saint Rosalia and the Hunter, 1970-1973, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.98

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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.

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“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

Title
Saint Rosalia and the Hunter
Artist
Date
1970-1973
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
38 7/8 x 58 5/8 in. (98.7 x 148.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – dog
  • Occupation – hunter
  • Figure male – full length
  • Religion – saint – St. Rosalia
Object Number
1986.65.98
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

late 1960s
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
ca. 1970s
oil on canvas
ca. 1973
oil on canvas

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