Youthful Martyr Saint

Italian


Youthful Martyr Saint, n.d.

  • On View

Polychromed terracotta

Dimensions: 27 × 16 × 9 1/2 in. (68.6 × 40.6 × 24.1 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.152

Although we know some things about this sculpture, its exact origin, artist, and identity remain a mystery. Her style of dress and head covering help to date the work, as they can be seen in other works of the mid fifteenth century. The palm leaf in her hand offers a clue to her identity as well: once associated with military victory, it was used by the Christian church as a symbol of victory over death and was often included in a work of art to indicate someone who died as a martyr. Which martyr saint this sculpture represents remains unknown, however, as there are no other identifying attributes.

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