Exhibiting Historical Art: Out of the Vault: Stories of People and ThingsMain MenuWorld MapClick pins to learn more about the object that originated thereTimelinePre-Columbian Gold Headband800 A.D. - 1500 A.D.Gold Eagle PendantsSepik River Headrest20th centuryStatue of Saint Barbara17th century France, polychromed wood, artist unknownCabinet door from the Imperial Palace of Beijing with Imperial DragonChen Youzhang, 1755Bronze LampHead of John the BaptistLauren Linquest, '19Ida Rubenstein, 1909 Sculpture by Jo DavidsonCassone ChestWater-Carrier Vase with Bamboo Pattern and BambooLenore Vanderkooi, 1996Lotus Flowers in a Wood VaseRevolutions Per Minute: The Art RecordOpening page
12016-04-14T09:25:41-07:00Joseph Eilbert852d338b9225be1f80a6a154c936576064be93fa85321Statue of Saint Barbara, 17th Century, Franceplain2016-04-14T09:25:41-07:00Joseph Eilbert852d338b9225be1f80a6a154c936576064be93fa
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1media/1983.021.jpgmedia/1983.021sm.jpg2016-04-07T09:17:33-07:00Statue of Saint Barbara2917th century France, polychromed wood, artist unknownplain2575992016-04-19T14:00:15-07:0046.2276, 2.2137 Saint Barbara Anonymous France 17th century Polychromed wood
This statue of Saint Barbara, once brightly painted, now shows only traces of its former color on its aging wood. Statues like this were often used for personal worship in homes, and Saint Barbara was a popular figure among women. It is probable that this statue was featured in a home shrine or personal space of a French noblewoman.
Saint Barbara was an early Christian martyr and saint. Her story is told in a legend dating to the seventh century. Explore the legend of Saint Barbara here.
Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen, armorers, military engineers, miners, and explosives workers. She is invoked as a protector against sudden death from lightning, fire, or explosions. Many modern artillery, engineering, and explosive ordinance military units use her image or symbols in their crests. Explore other depictions of Saint Barbara here.
Her primary symbol, depicted on this statue, is the three-windowed tower representing the Holy Trinity. In this piece, she holds in the right hand either a peacock plume, a symbol of her home city of Heliopolis, or a palm, a symbol of martyrdom. It is likely that the jeweled socket in her chest was once a reliquary. Explore the symbols of Saint Barbara here.