"San Camillo de Lellis saves the sick in the hospital of the Holy Spirit" (1746) by Pierre Subleyras Hubert

This oil-on-canvas is now hanging on the right wall in the second room of the first floor in Braschi Palace's museum, in Rome (Piazza di San Pantaleo, 10). It was painted by the French artist Pierre Subleyras Hubert and was completed in 1746 in occasion of the canonization (on the 29th of June) of Camillus de Lellis. The saint had dedicated his entire life to the cure of the deseased and had promoted the essential role of the clerics in the physical assistance to the sick, managing, in 1586 to found the order of Camillians.

The masterpiece indeed portrays Saint Camillus while trying to rescue, with his followers the Camillians (recognizable by a red cross on a black suit), the deseased at the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Saxia, during the overflow of the Tiber on Christmas day in 1598.


In the center, an attendant, with his head facing the main character, is bent while lifting a heavy crate contining the pitiful remanings of food, dishes, and blankets.
On the left side we can notice an ill man, wrapped in a sheet and with his head covered by a handkerchief, grabbing the arms of another young man, a cleric dressed in black.


Camillus de Lellis is portrayed standing while lifting and supporting an ill man covered in a white sheet, leaving his legs and shoulders uncovered, with a headgear on his head made of red weaved fabric.


Finally, on the left side of the painting we can see another scene taking place, in which an ill man is assisted by 3 other people: on the left, a cleric following of the operations both of the attendant (who's next to him) and the man in front of him.

  • Photos and main text by Danilo Boccetti ti.orebil|itteccobolinad#| and Francesca Leonetti moc.liamg|111oelarf#| (January 2016), courtesy of Museo di Roma - Palazzo Braschi


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