Statuette from the 18th century, illustrating Saint Martin of Tours, sculpted in the round, with a very beautiful original polychromy.
The Saint is represented as a bishop holding a large purse in his left hand. At his feet, a beggar with a crutch implores him and asks for alms, holding out a bowl.
This representation refers to a scene from his life entitled ''the second Charity'' (also called ''Messe de Saint Martin'').
H. 29 x W. 11 cm x D. 8 cm
Gilded and polychrome wood
Throughout the Middle Ages and part of the modern era, Martin was the most popular saint in France. Born in Pannonia (present-day Hungary), Martin was enlisted in the Roman army at a very young age and served in Italy, then in Gaul. In the latter country, one freezing winter evening, the young officer comes across a shivering beggar at the gate of Amiens. He then cuts his coat in half and gives half to the beggar. During the following night, Christ, wearing the half-cloak given to the poor, appears in a dream to Martin and thanks him for his gesture of charity. Martin then decides to leave the Roman army and convert. A few years later, he received baptism and entered the service of the great Saint Hilaire, bishop of Poitiers.
Having founded the monastery of Ligugé in Poitou, Martin gradually acquired a great reputation and, in 370, was elected bishop of Tours. He fulfills his episcopal office but continues to live as a monk, in the monastery of Marmoutier. But one day, when he was in Tours to fulfill his episcopal duties, the bishop, renewing the gesture at the gate of Amiens, dressed a poor man in his tunic.
His influence spread throughout Western Europe where many churches were dedicated to him. In France, even today, a large number of families, more than 500 towns and nearly 4,000 parishes bear his name.
Delevery information :
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1 600 €