Saint Andrew by Francois Duquesnoy
Saint Andrew by Francois Duquesnoy was created for one of the niches at the crossing of St. Peter’s Basilica. This extroverted marble representation of Saint Andrew is one of the four larger-than-life statues which frame the Baldacchino in the transept of St. Peter’s Basilica. Each depicts a venerated relic, which at the time, was the property of the Pope and St. Peters. The statue of Andrew was created to honour the relic of the apostle’s skull.
Duquesnoy was apparently disappointed when Bernini intrigued to have his statue of St. Longinus placed in the only corner that can receive direct rays of sunlight, enhancing the drama of Bernini’s sculpture. The is disappointment indicating that the sculptors of the four statues were competing for their reputation. Comparing Bernini’s and Duquesnoy’ statues we can see that in the St. Andrew sculpture the draperies fall vertically, while St. Longinus’ clothes inflate with energy. In further contrast, St. Andrew leans over the saltire cross of his martyrdom, while St. Longinus flings arms outward in response to divine influence. Both statues accentuate the diagonals.
The four statues set in the niches within the four piers supporting the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica are:
- Saint Longinus holding the spear that pierced the side of Jesus, by Bernini
- Saint Andrew with the St. Andrew’s Cross, by Francois Duquesnoy
- Saint Veronica holding her veil with the image of Jesus’ face, by Francesco Mochi
- Saint Helena holding the True Cross and the Holy Nails, by Andrea Bolgi
The sculptor, François Duquesnoy was a Flemish Baroque sculptor who worked in Rome. His more idealised representations are often contrasted with the emotional character of Bernini’s works.
- Title: Saint Andrew
- Artist: Francois Duquesnoy
- Year: (1629–33)
- Materials: Marble
- Museum: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
- Name: Francois Duquesnoy
- Born: 1597 – Brussels
- Died: 1643 (aged 46) – Livorno
- Nationality: Flemish
- Movement: Baroque style
- Notable works:
- Saint Andrew
“There are three classes of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” Leonardo da Vinci
Photo Credit: By Use the force (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons