Saint Martin of Tours

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C. 1520
46.5 x 35 x 12 cm

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Saint Martin of Tours is one of the most familiar and recognisable Christian saints and has been venerated since the 4th century. He was the Bishop of Tours, whose shrine in Gaul/France was the target of a very important pilgrimage, the equivalent of that to Rome, during the Early Middle Ages, before becoming a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the way to Compostela.

According to legend, as a Roman soldier he shared his cloak with a beggar, who later revealed himself in a vision as Christ, after which Martin converted to Christianity. Seated on his horse, that is moving to the left, the saint reaches over to the right to cut of a piece of his cloak with the now lost sword. The beggar is standing behind the horse and is already a holding the tail of the clock pulling it towards him to ease the process of cutting. 



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