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Paolo Veronese “The Vision of Saint Helena” at the Vatican Museum in Rome


Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) “The Vision of Saint Helena”

Painting - Oil on Canvas 166 x 134 cm) 1580

Saint Helena was the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine who, by the Edict of Milan in 313, recognized the freedom to be a Christian.

To Constantine, we owe the construction of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the first Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, intended to house the “True Cross” found by his mother, Helena in 327.

In Rome, Constantine had the basilicas of Saint John Lateran, the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, and Saint Peter's in the Vatican built.

Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Helena was a simple inn maid who gave birth to the future Constantine the Great in 280.

Constantine's Christian faith reached its peak with what has been called “the invention of the Holy Cross and the Holy Nails.”

Helena would have had a dream where she saw the cross on which Christ was crucified and the premonition that it would be found.

She found a cross while making a pilgrimage to the top of Golgotha in Jerusalem.

A part of the cross of Christ found by Saint Helena is in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, while a saint statue is present in the transept.

Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Veronese's painting represents this episode of Helena‘s dream.

Helena is sitting, dressed in a sumptuous silk dress, wearing the purple cloak and crown per her rank as the emperor's mother.

She is asleep, her head resting lightly on her left hand, while a cherub at her feet holds the cross that she will find at Golgotha: all she has to do is open her eyes for her to see them.

An outstanding painting by Veronese that highlights his great qualities as a painter through a perfect mastery of colour and composition.

The silky folds of Helena's dress are fascinatingly realistic; you can almost touch them.

This “Vision of Saint Helena” by Paolo Veronese is a magnificent portrait combining natural elegance and the opulence of fabrics.

Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena
Paolo Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena, Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Vision of Saint Helena

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