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St. Julian

European Art

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St. Julian

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Lorenzo Costa
Italian, ca. 1460–1535

Date

ca. 1480s

Medium

Tempera on panel

Accession #

58.38 a

Dimensions

14 7/8 x 5 1/2 inches (FRAMED IN PAIRS)

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 204

Description

St. Julian the Hospitaller is one of eight saints Lorenzo Costa painted in the late 1400s. The graceful figures originally flanked a central devotional image on a monumental altarpiece, likely in or near Bologna, Italy. The saints are identifiable by their attributes and by their names, which are inscribed underneath them in a northern Italian dialect. Devotees used this information to find the saints who were most relevant to their personal needs.

St. Julian the Hospitaller holds a dagger, referring to the prophecy that he would kill his parents. He tried to avoid the prophecy, but it became true, and he built a hospital in an effort to repent. He is the patron saint of hospital workers, innkeepers, and travelers.

Credit

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation