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The Vision of Saint Eustace
Pisanello
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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.

Key facts
Artist Pisanello
Artist dates about 1394? - 1455
Full title The Vision of Saint Eustace
Date made about 1438-42
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 54.8 x 65.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1895
Inventory number NG1436
Location in Gallery Room 54
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