Crivelli’s St Andrew

November 27th 2021

Carlo Crivelli
Saint Andrew
Tempera on poplar, 61 x 40 cm
Bought, 1868

St Andrew is shown here by Carlo Crivelli as an old man who holds a cross and mediates on a sacred text. The flowing locks, the crows feet, the fluttering pages, the grain of the wood, the folds of his garment are all beautiful rendered. You can even see a blood vessel on the side of his head. This was painted as one panel of an altarpiece for the Dominican Church in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. At the time St Andrew was a popular saint in the Marche. St Andrew is said to have died in Patras by crucifixion and in 1460 a relic of the saint was transferred from there to Rome. It landed at Ancona and then was brought in solemn procession through the region. The subsequent devotion to the saint may well derive from this time and be the reason he was included in this altarpiece. Although the National Gallery website does make the point that the Dominican friars might have favoured him because he was preacher and a evangeliser. For what it is worth, I would think that a patron with a devotion to St Andrew might have been significant in the choice. Interestingly, here in Scotland devotion to St Andrew is also bound up with the arrival of his relics on these shores and their veneration. On Tuesday we celebrate the Solemnity of St Andrew, Patron of Scotland. St Andrew pray for us.

Crivelli’s St Andrew

Edinburgh Catholic Chaplaincy

The Catholic Chaplaincy serves the students and staff of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

The Catholic Chaplaincy is also a parish of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh (the Parish of St Albert the Great) and all Catholic students and staff are automatically members of this parish.

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