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Bernardo Cavallino
Naples, 1616/22-1654/56
St. Christina, ca. 1645-50
Oil on canvas.
Daughter of a Roman magistrate, Christina, (ca. 300 A.D.), was persecuted for destroying her father’s pagan idols. Her attribute, the arrow, corresponds to the instrument of her martyrdom. This picture belongs to a group of half-length female figures painted in the late 1640s. It is a splendid example of Cavallino’s mature style, which fuses the powerful contrast of Caravaggism with the arbitrary design of a residual Mannerism, and a refinement that is Cavallino’s own.