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Cesare Nebbia

Cesare Nebbia (Orvieto ca. 1536–ca. 1614 Orvieto)
St. Paul on Malta, ca. 1580
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk
Joseph F. McCrindle collection, Morgan Library & Museum, 2009; 2009.221
Photography by Graham Haber, 2009
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This drawing is a study for one of a series of frescoes on the ceiling of the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche (Gallery of Maps) in the Vatican Palace, which was decorated ca. 1580 for Pope Gregory XIII. It represents a biblical episode said to have occurred on the island of Malta, where St. Paul was stranded after a shipwreck en route to Rome. While throwing sticks into a bonfire the saint was bitten by a snake. He shook the viper off into the fire and remained miraculously unharmed. The islanders took this as a sign of his divinity.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.