Dieric Bouts the Elder, The
Oil on wood
Central panel: 35.4 x 35.1 in.
(90 x 89.2 cm.). Each wing: 36.2 x 16.1 in. (92 x 41
Cathedral of the
Holy Savior, Bruges (placed in the Groeninge
Museum for conservation reasons in 1992)
The center panel presents a medieval-style drawing and quartering
of the saint, a slight departure from the account in the
In the Legend the saint is stripped naked at the command of
the Emperor Decius. Here the artist has left him a bit of
covering; the rest of the clothes are in the lower part of the
image, between the two horses. Hippolytus' response to the
stripping was to tell Decius, "you haven't stripped me, rather
you've clothed me."
The kneeling figure in the right panel could be Justin, the
priest who was to bury the saint's body. The standing figures
in red are Decius and his prefect Valerian. The kneeling
figures in the left panel are of course the donors: Hippolyte de Berthoz,
Charles the Bold's treasurer, and his wife Elisabeth Hugheins.
More of St. Hippolytus
Web Gallery of Art