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The Saints

The history of Christian religion had its heroes, martyrs and leaders in all centuries up to our time. These were officially recognised and named as Saints by the Roman Catholic Church in a process called canonisation. Many books exist on the lives of these men and women. For the history of paintings one of the most important sources was the ‘Golden Legend’. The saints were venerated. Parts of their body or even of the clothes they had worn or parts of their instruments of passion were spread and sometimes buried in the altars of churches dedicated to their examples. These churches needed pictures that represented the lives of the saints. There are over fifteen hundred saints. Of most of these saints’ lives exist pictures. It would be impossible in this book even to present one picture on the theme of each saint.

Surprisingly however, a few figures appealed more to the imagination of the greatest painters. Each painter made at least once a picture of Jerome, Sebastian or Francis. These pictures are particularly interesting for art history because they are good examples for comparative studies. With the pictures of Jerome and Sebastian we can follow the evolution in modes of representation, in styles and in colour, in expression and in spirituality.

The paragraphs of the book 'Saints' are the following:

Saint Jerome
Saint Sebastian
Saint John the Baptist
Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint Francis
Saint Bartholomew

Copyright: René Dewil Back to the navigation screen (if that screen has been closed) Last updated: January 2007
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