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Unidentified Artist
Santa Bárbara (Saint Barbara)
about 1680–90
oil on wood
10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection



This small painting was probably created as one of several panels that decorated the front of a pulpit or altarpiece. It commemorates Saint Barbara, whose father ordered her imprisoned because she practiced the Christian faith. Her elaborate clothing and jewelry reflect her family's wealth and standing, the tower indicates her imprisonment, and the palm frond represents her martyrdom.



Este pequeño cuadro era, probablemente, uno de varios paneles frontales que decoraban un púlpito o un altar. Representa a Santa Bárbara, que fue arrojada en prisión por orden de su padre en castigo por practicar la fe cristiana. Su elaborado ropaje y las joyas que luce denotan la riqueza y elevada posición de su familia, la torre representa su prisión y la palma, su martirio.