"St. Augustine had been long engaged in an unprofitable attempt to illustrate the doctrine of the trinity. At length he desisted; being warned in a vision by a little child, who appeared to him seated, with a ladle in his hand, by the sea- side, that it would be no more for him to transfer the entire contents of the ocean into a small hole, which he had made in the ground, than for any exertion of the human intellect to reach the heights of that sublime mystery. " Such is the subject of the painting, or, rather, the principal subject of it; for the exquisite group of the holy family, with the angels in the sky, the figure of St. catherine beneath, and that of St. Lawrence in the distance, have no relation to this story, and were, doubtless, introduced by the painter at the express deSire of his employer, who, according to the prevailing custom, wished to have inserted in the same votive picture the representations of all those saints to whom he was more especially accustomed to address his oraisons. " The magnificent vision of the holy family, seated in the clouds, and attended by the celestial host, is beyond all praise. equal in elegance to the most admired productions of parmigiano, is the varied and well-contrasted group of angels, playing upon musical instruments; whilst the simple and larger figure of the madonna possesses a dignity, joined to a beauty of character, of which the works of modern art can offer, perhaps, but few parallel examples." [P. 3.]
Gallery of Pictures, selected from the most admired productions of the Old Masters, Doggett's Repository, No. 16 Market-Street.