Ubaldo Gandolfi
(San Matteo della Decima 1728 – Ravenna 1781)

Christ and the Canaanite Woman

Oil on canvas, 41 x 57 cm (16 x 22 inches)

Another story about demons. This time Christ, in the Tyre and Sidon region (today’s Saida and Sur, along the southern coast of Lebanon), meets a woman from Canaan (a Palestinian), who begs him to help her daughter who is “tormented by a demon,” says Matthew (15, 21-28). Ubaldo worked a lot on this piece, to please treasurer Piero Antonio Odorici, as shown by his study sheet once kept in London (Fig. 16) and by the little canvas in question. These were both preparations for the work which is today found in the Bolognese church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, bereft of its lost companion: in the “Odorici household two pictures were placed horizontally; in one the Canaanite and in the other the Adulteress” (Oretti, M., Notizie de’ Professori del Dissegno (News from Professors of Drawing), ms. B 134, Bologna, Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio, 1760-1787 circa., c. 180).

Fig. 16: Ubaldo Gandolfi, Christ and the Canaanite Woman. Previously London, Flavia Ormond Fine Arts.