The Madonna Appearing to St. Philip Neri

Creation date
oil on canvas
16 x 10-3/8 in.
Credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
Accession number
Currently On View In
Charles O. McGaughey Gallery - H213

This lively, loosely painted sketch is a preliminary study for a large altarpiece in the Pilo e Calvello Chapel, Sant’Ignazio Martire all’Olivella (formerly San Filippo Neri), Palermo, commissioned from Conca at the height of his fame in 1739-40. In these years, Conca led a large and busy workshop in Rome and served as the director of the Roman academy. Unwilling to relocate to complete such commissions, Conca would have sent small preliminary sketches like this to his patron in Sicily for approval before undertaking the final full-scale altarpiece. Two additional painted sketches and one drawing related to the altarpiece also survive, with slight variations between them that indicate Conca’s exacting approach to composition.

A.S. Ciechanowiecki of (Heim Gallery, London) by 1970;{1} purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1971 (71.6).

{1} No provenance information is included in Paintings and Sculptures of the Baroque: Autumn Exhibition, Heim Gallery, London, November 10-December 23, 1970, cat. no. 24.
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