Saint Christopher (About 1615 - 1700)
About this artwork
This painting was acquired in Italy by Andrew Wilson on behalf of the Royal Institution in 1830, as the work of Caravaggio. It is, in fact, a copy after an original painting by the Caravaggesque painter Orazio Borgianni, also in the Scottish National gallery’s collection (NG 48).
The theatrical lighting and weighty figures of Borgianni's religious paintings reflect the influence of Caravaggio's works in Rome. Borgianni was born in Tuscany, but moved to Rome when he was still a boy. His earliest dated work of 1593 was painted for a church in Sicily. He also spent some time in Spain, but had returned to Rome by 1606. Borgianni developed considerable fluency in his handling of paint, possibly stimulated by the examples of Venetian and Lombard artists working in Rome. His sober colouring, however, was closer to Caravaggio's example.