00:00
/
00:00
Vitale, Filippo
The Blessing of St. Blaise
around 1618

Jacobus de Voragine’s Golden Legend tells the story of the meek St. Blaise miraculously healing a boy choking on a fish bone stuck in his throat. A 4th-century physician elected bishop in the Roman province of Cappadocia (later the city of Sebaste in Lesser Armenia, now Sevas in Turkey), St. Blaise was imprisoned by the local governor for refusing to worship pagan deities. De Voragine relates how St. Blaise was martyred by beheading, but not before being tortured with iron wool combs that tore open his flesh. By the 13th century his cult had spread across Europe, and his assistance in healing was especially recommended for those suffering maladies of the throat. Here, he is shown in a typical representation: wearing a bishop’s mitre and holding a staff and a wool comb (his attribute), he looks down to a boy with a bandage around his throat, hands clasped in supplication, and raises his right hand in healing prayer.

 
Vitale, Filippo
Naples, Italy 1585 or 1589–Naples, Italy 1650
The Blessing of St. Blaise
around 1618
Oil on canvas
height / width: 132.1 cm x 104.1 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1998
41-002

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.