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St. Barbara Michel Colombe (circle of)


Michel Colombe (circle of) Bourges, ca. 1430 – Tours, ca. 1514

Date early 16th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique limestone

88 x 33 x 21 cm

Inventory number 52.816
Collection Sculpture
On view This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition

According to the legend, Saint Barbara, who lived in the third century, was locked up in a tower by her own father, a heathen. Barbara, however, secretly converted to the Christian faith and later suffered a martyr’s death. The statue of the saint, who is depicted holding her attributes (namely a tower and a palm branch symbolising her martyrdom), was probably been made in the early sixteenth century and can be linked with the art of Michel Colombe, a sculptor working on the border between late Gothic and early Renaissance. The work can be placed among the statues made in the Bourbonnais region under the influence of Colombe. It has the typical features of the so-called Bourbonnais facial type: the curly hair parted in the middle, the convex forehead, the small almond-shaped eyes, and the narrow mouth. The nearest analogy is a stone statue of Saint Barbara in Jaligny, but in terms of artistic quality the work is closest to the art of Jean de Chartres, a pupil of Colombe.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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