Godfried Maes - Triumphal arch
Triumphal arch with scenes from the lives of Saint John of Capistrano and Saint Paschal Baylon
Godfried Maes (Antwerp 1649 - Antwerp 1700)
This impressive drawing of an elaborately decorated triumphal arch is signed at the bottom: G. Maes Inv. et del. Godfried Maes, an artist from Antwerp, announces to the world that he is the designer (invenit: he designed it) and draughtsman (delineavit: he drew it). When this sheet was purchased, it was erroneously identified as designed by Jan Maes, who came from Bruges (approx. 1620-1677) and was thought to be intended for the decoration of the altar of St Dominic in Antwerp’s Dominican Church to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Lepanto (1571).
However, it emerged that this design was the basis for a print manufactured and published by Gaspar Bouttats in 1691, in honour of the canonisation of the Italian John of Capistrano (1386-1456) and the Spaniard Paschal Baylon (1540-1592) in the previous year. The first of the two saints blesses the sacramental wine and the Eucharist in the centre of the triumphal arch, while above it, he is portrayed as a soldier-priest at the victory over the Ottoman army (with the Hungarians). On both sides of the central image, Paschal Baylon is pictured with Christ on the Cross and with the Divine Infant. At the front, on the pedestals, there are allegorical female figures who represent Hungary and Spain.
This drawing was studied for the AGORA Drawings on Web project.
Materials, technique and dimensions: red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, heightened with white gouache. Frame lines in pen and brown ink, 520 x 349 mm
Inventory number: S.II 86175
Jean-Alexandre Werry, Brussels (1773-1847); his family; acquired in 1898