Master of the saint Saint Godelieve legend: 4 saints (last quarter of 15th century)
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)
These 4 panels are the so-called outer panels of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Godelieve. The altarpiece consists of a a center panel and 4 side panels, when closed the altarpiece shows these 4 saints. From left to right the saints are:
- Saint Josse of St-Josse-sur-Mer and donor: Josse (or Judoc) was a son of king from Brittany from the 7th century. He renounced his inheritance and wealth, and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. He was never formally canonised by Rome but developed a local cultus in Brittany. He is usually portraited as a pilgrim and is the patron of pilgrims, blind, bakers, protection against several diseases and the lifestock and harvest. His feastday is 13 December
- Saint Nicholas of Myra: Bishop of Myra (270-343 A.D.). A very famous and popular saint. He is the patron saint of children, sailors, the falsely accused, brewers etc. His feastday is 6 december
- Saint Quirinus of Neuss: According to the legend Quirinus was a Roman tribune. He was guarding pope Saint Alexander I, saint Eventius and saint Theodolus when these were in prison. After witnessing several miracles performed by these three saints, Quirinus converted to Christianity and was martyred because of his faith. He is the patron saint of soldiers, diseases affecting cattle and horses and protects against several diseases such as bubonic plague, smallpox, and gout. His feastday is March 30.
- Saint John the Baptist and donor: Saint John the Baptist was a prophet from the new testament and is the one who baptized Jesus.
Altarpiece from the last quarter of 15th century