Commissioned by Philip II, late 1570 or early 1580, for the chapel of the Saint in the church of the Escorial.
The subject of the
of the soldier Saint with his legions, for his refusal to worship the
gods. was appropriate for the Escorial, the real centre of the crusade
for the Faith. This subject expresses the conviction of faith that
the crusade; the Allegory of the Holy League, the militant spirit of
crusade itself. The ecstatic character of this "invitation to death"
y Gasset) is expressed. The physical side of the martyrdom is not
is no more than symbolised by the small group on the left comprising
one martyred figure, the figure, in the pose of his Christ of the
awaiting martyrdom and the grand figure in back-view of the
The impression of the ranks of the Saint's army awaiting martyrdom is
to that of the multitude in adoration in the Adoration
of the Name of Jesus. The two paintings are related in composition,
and in their expression of devotional fervour.
The grand group of Saint Maurice and his companions owes much to the heroic figure style of Rome. There is, however, no emphasis on weight or volume. There is also no emphasis on spatial depth.
More of St.