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Past Exhibition

Design for a Monstrance

Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
Design for a Monstrance, after 1762
Pen, brown ink, and gray and brown wash on paper
15 × 9 7⁄8 in. (380 × 252 mm)
Private collection
Michael Bodycomb

In January 1767, Valadier displayed, in his workshop on Via del Babuino, a large and lavish monstrance intended for a church in Mexico. Decorated with symbols of the Evangelists, with the figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and with putti, cherubs, and symbols of the Passion of Christ, the gilt-silver piece was further enhanced by twelve thousand white topazes. Unfortunately, this sumptuous object is lost, but this drawing is likely related to that commission.