Skip to main content

Pisanello, The Vision of Saint Eustace

Key facts
Full title The Vision of Saint Eustace
Artist Pisanello
Artist dates about 1394? - 1455
Date made about 1438-42
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 54.8 × 65.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1895
Inventory number NG1436
Location Gallery D
Collection Main Collection
The Vision of Saint Eustace

We are looking at a miraculous event. An elegantly dressed huntsman has been stopped in his tracks by an apparition: a large stag with a Crucifix between its antlers. This is Saint Eustace, a Roman soldier who, while out hunting one day, had a vision of a stag with Christ on a shining cross between its antlers. He converted to Christianity at once.

He doesn't look like a Roman soldier here, though. Pisanello has depicted an Italian prince, in a fantastic blue hat, hunting with his hounds. We do not know who this painting was for, but its small size suggests it was for the private enjoyment of an aristocrat.

Pisanello was especially famous for his ability to show animals. The huge number of his surviving drawings include various studies for the creatures in this painting, some apparently taken from model books, some copied from earlier artists and some from live and dead animals.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo