Saint Bruno in a Mountainous Landscape
St. Bruno was an eleventh-century German hermit who established the Carthusian order of monks at La Grande Chartreuse in Grenoble, and died at another hermitage he founded at La Torre in Calabria in 1101. The painting shows him at the mouth of a cave in a craggy mountain landscape. Arms outstretched, he meditates on a crucifix with a skull at its base. The romantic Baroque style and brilliant blue sky are characteristic of the Neapolitan school associated with Salvator Rosa (1615-1673), which influenced the French artist Joseph Parrocel, whose work is also in this exhibition (1984.146). His feast was added to the Roman calendar in 1623, which may explain why his image would have been of interest in seventeenth-century Italy.