A Martyrdom
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A Martyrdom about 1350

On Display SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY

Two Roman officers have ordered the unidentified saint and his companion to be beaten to death. They have been brought before the officers by a group of soldiers who witness their martyrdom. The setting is like a stage with a gold backdrop, the doorway on the left and the Romans' seat of judgement serving as symbolic scenery and props. The panel is one of two in the collection, painted originally as part of a predella of five scenes at the base of an altarpiece.

Glossary Open

Altarpiece

An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.

Martyrdom

Death due to a person's adherence to a religious faith. It is also used to describe prolonged or extreme suffering of any kind.

Predella

Horizontal band below the main panels of altarpiece, decorated with small scenes that relate to those above.

Altarpiece, Martyrdom, Predella

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 1539 B
  • Medium Tempera and gold on panel
  • Size 18.60 x 29.60 cm (framed: 34.00 x 77.50 x 4.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1921