St. MargaretFrench, ca. 1475
Information provided by the Metropolitan Museum, New York:
French; Made in Toulouse (?)
Alabaster, traces of gilding; 15 3/8 x 9 5/8 x 6 9/16 in. (39 x 24.5 x 16.7 cm)
Promised Gift of Anthony and Lois Blumka, in memory of Ruth and Victoria Blulmka, 1996 (Promised Gift)
The legend of Saint Margaret, the Early Christian martyr also known as Marina, details the many painful ordeals she endured before her eventual death during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (r. 284—305). Having been swallowed by the devil in the guise of a dragon, the saint burst unharmed from its body after making the sign of the cross.
Dating from about 1475, this work is an outstanding example of the Languedoc style of the late fifteenth century, which was centered in medieval Toulouse. A masterpiece, in spite of the few damages the ensemble has sustained, this work is remarkable for the contrast of the idealism and delicacy of the figure set against the scaly and coarse textures of the lizard-turned-dragon at the base of the composition.
Provenance/Ownership History: Ex colls.: Emile Molinier, Paris, France (sale, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, June 21-23, 1906, lot 378, ill.); Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York; [Blumka/Blumka II, New York]; Anthony and Lois Blumka, New York
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