Swabia circa 1490 - A Swabian carved limewood relief of Saint Afra, circa 1490
Swabia circa 1490
A Swabian carved limewood relief of Saint Afra, circa 1490
Flattened to the reverse. Minimal wear of former polychromy. According to legend, Saint Afra was daughter of the King of Cypress and arrived in Augsburg in early Christian time. Following her conversion to Christianity, she was burned at the stake in Lechfeld during persecutions in the year 304. She was canonised in 1064 and is the patron saint of the town and bishopric of Augsburg. This pierced relief, designed for a slightly lowered viewpoint, depicts the saint as a young woman with long wavy hair, entirely nude and with her arms raised and bound to a treestump. She suffers her martyrdom at the hands of three soldiers, who beat her with sticks and light the fire beneath her with torches. The fine quality of the work is particularly evident in the depiction of Saint Afra's nude frame and the facial features and clothing of the soldiers.
Minimal wear with minor losses. A small torch replaced. Mounted on a newer wooden panel. 58 x 52 x 4 cm.
Former private collection in Kempten/Allgäu. - Biechele art dealers, Ochsenhausen. - Swabian private ownership.