The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen, by Filippo Lauri (1623-1694).

Oil on copper, 32cm by 21.5cm. Signed with initials: F.L.; the reverse with ‘Filippo Laoro. F. 1681.

Purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).

He and his wife Anne, met Lauri in Rome whilst on their first Grand Tour in 1684 and he became one of their favourite artists.

The Countess, in particular, was very fond of small scale religious works, of which there were many in her private apartments at Burghley.

The 1688 Burghley Inventory records: ‘My Ladys Closett…4 pictures on Copper in Ebbony frames (viz) a St Stephen, a St Lawrence, an Appollo & Midas, Appollo fleying a Satir by phillipo Laura.’

Filippo Lauri, the son of a Flemish landscape painter, was born in Rome, where he remained active for most of his life.

Amongst other things, he frequently painted small-scale figures in the canvasses of Claude Lorraine.


Related collections