Vision of St Helen
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Vision of St Helen

Paolo Caliari, called the
(Verona 1528 - Venice 1588)
Vision of St Helen, circa 1580
oil on canvas
cm. 166 x 134
cat. 40352

St Helen, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine (306-337 A.D.), is shown sleeping, seated, with her head resting on her hand. Sacred history attributes to her the vision, or more rightly, the dream, that led her to finding the true Cross, materialized (so to say) and supported by a winged cherub. The iconography is not that traditionally followed in Venetian art, where the Saint is usually shown standing by the cross. The painting, which dates to about 1580, forms part of the later production of the great Venetian artist.