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Russian School. Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch: in the Circus during Celebrations for Emperor Trajan. Mid 19th Century

Russian School. Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch: in the Circus during Celebrations for Emperor Trajan. Mid 19th Century

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The Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch: The Epic Suffering of a Saint.

Russian Academic School of painting of the 19th Century

Signed on the lower right. TITOV ? Dated 1860 (?) o 1840

Era: Mid-19th Century

Technique: Oil on Canvas

Russian School

Dimentions With Frame:106 cm x 72 cm
Without Frame: 53 cm x 88 cm


The painting is signed and represents a work from the Russian school of the mid-19th century. The scene is set in an arena that could be Roman. At the center of the composition, Saint Ignatius of Antioch is depicted at the moment of his martyrdom.

The inscription in Old Russian, located at the bottom of the painting, identifies the central figure as “Stradaniye Svyatogo Muchenika Ignatiya Bogonostza Patriarkha Antiokhiyskogo” (The Suffering of Saint Martyr Ignatius, God-Bearer, Patriarch of Antioch).

Saint Ignatius is shown with his eyes turned to the heavens, accepting his fate with faith. A lion is depicted delivering a fatal bite, while other lions are poised to attack him.

In the painting, e però è Trajan  observes the scene from his royal balcony, surrounded by a crowd filling the vast amphitheater. The dramatic atmosphere is intensified by the artist’s choice of colors: a palette of pastel and gray tones, enriched with striking pink light effects that highlight the scene’s tragic beauty.

The Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who lived between 35 and 107 AD, is known as one of the early Church Fathers and the third bishop of Antioch. During the reign of Emperor Trajan, Ignatius was arrested and sentenced to be thrown to the beasts in the Roman arena, a fate reserved for Christians who refused to renounce their faith.

Ignatius embraced his martyrdom with great courage, seeing it as a way to unite fully with Christ. In his letters, he expressed a desire not to be saved from his condemnation, viewing martyrdom as the fulfillment of his faith and Christian witness.

This painting is an extraordinary example of 19th-century Russian religious art. With its dramatic composition, accurate historical details, and emotional use of color, the work offers a powerful and moving representation of the martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch.

Frame: Modern, gilded.
Light Effects: Pastel and gray colors with pink light effects that enhance the drama and spirituality of the scene.




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