Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: The Exorcism of Princess Eudoxia before the tomb of St. Stephen
  • Creator: Possibly James II Vergos
  • Description:

    This panel presents a posthumous miracle performed by St Stephen the protomartyr. The Byzantine princess Eudoxia, accompanied by her parents, the Emperor Theodosius II and Empress Eudoxia, has gone on pilgrimage to the saint’s tomb in Rome. The black demon emerging from her mouth is a sign that Eudoxia has been cured of demonic possession through the saint’s intervention as are the chains which fall from her wrists to the floor. Next to her stands a disabled man who also hopes to benefit from the saint’s healing power. The man is identified as a pilgrim by the cockle shells of St James and the keys of St Peter sewn on his clothing and hat as well as the pilgrim scrip on his shoulder. The body of St Stephen lies atop his tomb, and his status as a martyr is underlined by the palm he holds and the rock near his head that recalls his stoning. Above his tomb ex voto offerings hang including busts, legs, and ships, all testifying to the saint’s power to heal and to rescue.

    Eudoxia and her parents are dressed in richly colored and decorated clothing. The princess wears a velvet headdress and a fine, see-through veil. Her dress is decorated with large and elaborate pomegranate flower motifs. The emperor wears a bright red dalmatic lined with ermine. The tunic underneath is made from a gold fabric and has sleeves trimmed in fine leather. A large, azure colored belt stands out against his red dalmatic. The empress has a tall headdress combined with a crown. The details of her green gown are picked out in stucco to give a great richness to the design.

    This work is part of a thirteen-part altarpiece that was made for the Church of Sant Esteve de Granollers, located in the Spanish city of Granollers near Barcelona. The nine major panels were likely done by the Vergós workshop, a Catalan group of artists known for their Hispano-Flemish style. The four smaller panels are attributed to Joan Gascó.

  • Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rights: Public Domain
  • Subject (See Also): Eudoxia, Byzantine Princess Hagiography Miracles Pilgrimage Stephen, Protomartyr
  • Geographic Area: Iberia
  • Century: 15
  • Date: 1495- 1500
  • Related Work: The Altarpiece of St. Stephen of Granollers : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Vergos-estructura-SantEsteveGranollers.svg/1000px-Vergos-estructura-SantEsteveGranollers.svg.png
  • Current Location: Spain, Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, 024146-000
  • Original Location: Spain, Granollers, Church of Sant Esteve de Granollers
  • Artistic Type (Category): Digital Images; Painting
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Tempera; Stucco reliefs; Gold leaf on wood; Altarpiece panel;
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): 195/116.5/
  • Inscription:
  • Related Resources: Garriga, Joaquim, “L'antic retaule major de sant Esteve de Granollers, dels Vergós”. Lauro. Museu de Granollers [Granollers], no. 15 (1998):15-35, http://www.raco.cat/index.php/Lauro/article/viewFile/48293/51325;
    Malé, Gemma, "Vergos II, Jaume," Magistri Cataloniae, http://www.magistricataloniae.org/en/indexmceng/codumentedart/item/vergos-ii-jaume.html;
    Prat, Núria, "La suntuosidad de la 'moda' y el brillo de los colores del gótico I," Blog from the Museu Nacional d' Art de Catalunya February 19, 2015, http://blog.museunacional.cat/es/suntuosidad-de-la-moda-y-brillo-colores-del-gotico-i/