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St. Barbara, Martyrdom of

St. Barbara, Martyrdom of - Museum Religious Art Classics

Artwork Narrative:

Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder – c. 1510

According to legend, Saint Barbara was executed by her heathen father, Dioscorus, when she refused to recant her Christian faith. Luxuriously dressed, she seems here to calmly accept her fate as she kneels before Dioscorus, who raises his sword to behead her. The four sinister-looking witnesses may be the Roman authorities who had tortured her in an attempt to persuade her to sacrifice to pagan gods, and who later sentenced her to death.

The coat of arms indicates that Cranach painted this panel for a member of the Rem family, who were wealthy merchants in Augsburg.

Her feast day is December 4.

Art Collection: