Beheading of Saint Barbara, c. 1501

Anonymous Master M. Z.

Engraving

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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