Saint BarbaraThe story of Saint Barbara is told in the 'Golden Legend'. She was a maiden of great beauty whose father shut her up in a tower to discourage suitors. On discovering she was a Christian, he reported her to the authorities, who tortured her. When she refused to renounce her Christianity, her father killed her. He was then struck down by lightning. She is supposed to have lived in the 3rd century; her veneration became widespread in about the 9th century.
Because of her association with lightning she became the patron saint of miners and gunners and of many artillery companies. In art, her special attribute is her tower.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN