Origin : France
Period : 15th century
Height : 116 cm
Length : 32 cm
Depth : 20 cm
Remains of Polychromy
The Saint depicted here is Saint James the Great.
James is the brother of St. John the Evangelist. Nothing is known of his activities after the Ascension. He was beheaded in 44 folowing the orders of Herod Agrippa.
James would have come to preach the Gospel in Spain where the Virgin appeared to him in Saragossa atop a jasper column surrounded by angels.
Later, it would have been in the province of Galicia that the body of the Apostle was brought after his martyrdom, in a boat led by an angel.
Actually, St. James never came to Spain and his relics were never carried in Galicia. This legend was born during the crusade against the Moors and at the moment of the Compostela pilgrimage. This one, organized by the monks of Cluny to help the Christians of Spain, dates from the tenth century.
Here, the Saint is dressed as a pilgrim, one of three iconography by which he is shown, with that of the apostle and the knight fighting the Moors.
He wears a hat trimmed with two shells. He wears the usual baggage of the pilgrim, the pannetiere. His lively face, with a mustache and a beard with beautiful waves demonstrates the excellent mastery of the sculptor who made this work.
This sculpture was probably part of a larger carved group.
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