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St. Lucy

European Art

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St. Lucy

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Lorenzo Costa
Italian, ca. 1460–1535

Date

ca. 1480s

Medium

Tempera on panel

Accession #

58.40b

Dimensions

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

Location

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

Description

St. Lucy 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 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.

The lamp and two large eyes that St. Lucy holds refer to various legends about her eyes being plucked out. This cue would have prompted the visually impaired to pray to her for healing.

Credit

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

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