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Peter Paul Rubens
[Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens]
Saint Teresa of Ávila Interceding for Souls in Purgatory

c. 1630-1633
Oil on wood

25 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Excerpt from The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Ruben, Flemish, (Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)
Saint Teresa of Ávila Interceding for Souls in Purgatory, c. 1630-1633

The present painting is a reduced workshop version of a large altarpiece painted by Rubens about 1630 to 1633 for the Church of the Discalced Carmelites in Antwerp. The inscription on an engraving by Schelte a Bolswert after Rubens’s altarpiece relates the scene to the story of Bernardino de Mendoza, a young Spaniard who had given Saint Teresa land on which to build a convent. Bernardino died before it could be built, and Christ appeared to Saint Teresa informing her that his soul could not be released from Purgatory until the convent was completed. Bernardino appears in Purgatory at the left of the painting.

Additional Information:

The Feast Day of Saint Teresa of Ávila is celebrated on October 15.

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