Beheading of Saint Barbara, c. 1501

Anonymous Master M. Z.


Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1926 P.10,962

Not on View

According to legend, the nobleman Dioscurus was so afraid that a suitor would captivate his beloved daughter Barbara that he shut her away in a tower. She managed to convert to Christianity by corresponding with a teacher in Alexandria, which infuriated her father, who was a heathen. As punishment he cut off her head, a fate that Master MZ shows her enduring with a martyr's grace. This print demonstrates the peculiarities that scholars invariably associate with his work, including oddities of scale and stiff, awkward poses.

Image: Public Domain. Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1926

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