Pere Nunyes: Weighing the Saddles before Clothar III (1526-1529)

(Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)

An painting by the Portugese artist Pere Nunyes (1490-1554). This painting is part of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Eligius (aka Saint Eloy). The altarpiece was commissioned by the Silversmiths' guild for their chapel in the church of La Mercè in Barcelona. The whole altarpiece shows episodes from the life of Saint Eligius who is the patron saint of Goldsmiths, Blacksmiths, Horses, Taxi Drivers  and Mechanics. The part shows a story from the earlier life of Saint Eligius. The Merovingian King Clothar III (652-673), shown here as an old man with a crown, asked eligius, who was only a goldsmith then, to make for him a saddle (other stories claim say that it was a throne) and gave him gold and precious stones. Eligius however made 2 golden saddles for the price of 1. Struck by the honesty of Eligius, King Clothar III gave Eligius an appointment at court. Eligius used his appointment to create relics and for goods deeds.

Another part of this altarpiece is here: Saint Eligius Consecrated as a Bishop


Painting from 1526-1529.

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