- Museum number
St Onuphrius in the wilderness; almost nude, seated to right with his head resting on his hands, reading a book
Turner and Plazzotta 1991
He is naked except for some leaves round his loins, is seated on a hummock in profile to the right and reads from a book lying on a rock in front of him.
- Production date
Height: 290 millimetres
Width: 195 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Turner and Plazzotta 1991
It seems likely that the saint in question is Onuphrius on account of the girdle of leaves about his loins, as distinct from St Paul the Hermit who wears a more substantial shroud of woven palm leaves (see Ff,2.131).
A stylistically similar drawing, also in red chalk, in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (Mahon & Turner, 1989, no. 218), shows a kneeling hermit saint, his hair and beard still more abundant, clad in a similar girdle. They may well have been drawn in the same connection since they apparently date from the same period, around the 1640s or possibly the 1650s. Retouched offsets of both drawings are also at Windsor, two having been taken from 1910,0212.7 (Mahon & Turner, 1989, nos. 702 and 703) and one from the Windsor drawing (Mahon & Turner, 1989, no. 704).
A pen-and-wash drawing of this subject, but identified as St Jerome, was formerly on the New York art market (sale, Parke Bernet, 22 October 1970, lot 5, repr., where a provenance of the drawing from the Earl of Gainsborough is given).
Literature: Mahon and Turner, The Drawings of Guercino in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, Cambridge, 1989, under nos. 218 and 702.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number