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Master of Saint Veronica, Saint Veronica with the Sudarium

Key facts
Full title Saint Veronica with the Sudarium
Artist Master of Saint Veronica
Artist dates active early 15th century
Date made about 1420
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 44.2 × 33.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1862
Inventory number NG687
Location Room 25
Collection Main Collection
Saint Veronica with the Sudarium
Master of Saint Veronica

According to her legend, Saint Veronica saw Christ fall as he carried his Cross to the site of his crucifixion. Taking pity on him, she offered her linen handkerchief (called a sudarium) to wipe the sweat from his face. When he returned it, an image of his face was imprinted upon it.

The legend inspired paintings like this, where Veronica holds up the miraculously imprinted cloth. This picture is very similar to one in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, which gives the anonymous painter his identity as the Master of Saint Veronica. The Munich painting is more elaborate and includes groups of angels with colourful wings seated on the ground. There are traces of the draperies and wings of flying angels here, not painted but punched with little dots into the gold on either side of Veronica’s head, but they are now so worn they are barely visible.

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