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Sant'Agostino in meditazione Siena

Sant'Agostino in meditazione

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Artist: Francesco Vanni
Year: XVI secolo
Current location: Museo di San Donato - Collezione di Banca MPS


22 x 17.5 cm

The small copper painting has been recognized by critics as testimony to the most ancient phase of Francesco Vanni's pictorial activity: as bishop of Hippo, Agostino is marked by episcopal insignia - such as the submachine gun placed next to the left arm and the pastoral care placed against the right shoulder. Beside him, a blond and chubby boy is holding an object similar to a wooden ladle. The presence of the child and the thoughtful expression of Augustine seem to allude to a legendary episode in the life of the Saint, linked to the spirit avid of wisdom and knowledge of the divine things that belonged to the Holy Bishop of Hippo: while walking along the seashore meditating on the nature of the Trinity, Augustine came across a boy who, having dug a hole in the sand, tried in vain to fill it with water; made the child observe the uselessness of his gesture, he replied that his efforts were not so much more useless than the efforts made by human intelligence in an attempt to penetrate the divine mysteries.

Sant'Agostino in meditazione