A Saint On His Deathbed
The beautiful polychrome sculpture (1702-03) of St Stanislaus Kostka, in the Baroque church of Sant' Andrea al Quirinale, is the work of the French sculptor Pierre Legros the Younger (1666-1719).
Stanisłaus Kostka (1550-68) was a young Polish novice of the Society of Jesus, who died during the night of August 14th/15th, aged only seventeen. Kostka was beatified in 1605 and a century later Legros was commissioned to create the sculpture of the novice lying on on his deathbed.
Legros, whose father was also a sculptor, employed a range of marbles: black touchstone for his habit, Sicilian jasper and yellow marble for the bedding, and gilded bronze for the fringe. The saint's hands, feet and head are carved from white Carrara marble. The sculpture is situated in the actual chamber in which Kostka died.
Stanisłaus Kostka was canonised on December 31st, 1726.
Pierre Legros died in Rome on May 3rd, 1719, and is buried in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
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