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Follower of Simon Marmion, Saint Clement and a Donor

Key facts
Full title Saint Clement and a Donor
Artist Follower of Simon Marmion
Artist dates active 1449; died 1489
Date made late 1480s
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 49.8 × 37 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2669
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Saint Clement and a Donor
Follower of Simon Marmion

This was once the left wing of a triptych (a painting made up of three sections) which showed a man and woman with their patron saints on either side of an image of the Virgin and Christ Child.

Here, Saint Clement stands behind a man, presumably the male donor who paid for the triptych. The anchor in the saint’s hand is his attribute: he was martyred by being thrown into the Black Sea tied to an anchor. The other wing shows Saint Elizabeth with the woman. We don‘t know who the donors are, but they were presumably married and were probably named after their patron saints. The writing on the frame of our painting is a contraction of a Latin phrase and prayer to the Virgin and Child: ’May our faith let us feel that you are pleading our cause.'

The painting is now obscured by discoloured varnish – you can notice this especially on the faces – and has been much repainted, apparently during a restoration at the end of the nineteenth century.

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