Anonymous: Saints Procopius and Adalbert (1340-50)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

A painting made by an unknown 14th century Bohemian artist. This wooden panel was part of a set of two connected panels which was used for private prayers. This part shows two Bohemian (Bohemia is now modern Czech republic) saints.

-The monk on the left is Saint Procopius of Sázava (970 -1053) was a benedictine canon who retired into the wilderness to live as a hermit. There he was discovered by a local duke called Ulrich. After Procopius turned the water of Ulrich into wine, the duke allowed Procopius to build a monastery with Procopius as its first abbot. Procopius is a (unofficial) patron saint of Bohemia.

- The bishop on the right is Adalbert of Prague (956 – 997). Adalbert was the second bishop of Prague and who founded the monastery in Břevnov, the first monastery in the Czech territory. Adalbert was also a missionary who went to Prussia where he was eventually killed by pagan Prussians - for this Adalbert is also known as the 'apostle of the Prussians' and is the patron saint of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and the former polity of Prussia.

A tempera and gold leaf on panel from around 1340-1350.


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