- Museum number
St Augustine hesitating between the blood of Christ or the milk of the Virgin Mary, putti above with a flaming heart, two putti below with books by a balustrade
Pen and black ink, grey wash, over black chalk
- Production date
- 1636 (circa)
Height: 383 millimetres
Width: 259 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A study with differences for the altarpiece painted for S. Nicolò da Tolentino, Palermo around 1626 and still in situ there (Palermo catalogue no. II.42, pp. 268-9; Di Stefano no. 56). The picture differs from the drawing most notably in the exclusion of the cross held by Christ. The subject of St Augustine torn between partaking of Christ's blood or the Virgin's milk is inspired by a passage in his 'Meditations': 'I stand between them, which way shall I turn? On the one side the blood of Christ, on the other, the milk of his Mother'.
Lit.: G. di Stefano, 'Pietro Novelli il Monrealese', Palermo, 1989, under no. 56, p. 228; S. Grasso, in exhib. cat., Palermo, Albergo dei Poveri, 'Pietro Novelli e il suo ambiente', 1990, no. III.24, p. 394 and under no. II.42, p. 268;
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
Stamped 'CAPPUCCINO PANORMI' which signifies that it was once belonged to the Convent of the Capuchin Friars in Palermo (see S. Grasso, in exhib. cat., Palermo, , Albergo dei Poveri, 'Pietro Novelli e il suo ambiente', 1990, under no. III.24, p. 394).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number