Crucified Martyr

Hieronymus Bosch • Painting, 1500-th , 105×118.5 cm
Digital copy: 5.0 MB
7381 × 6316 px • JPEG
39.8 × 35.3 cm • 454 dpi
125.0 × 107.0 cm • 150 dpi
62.5 × 53.5 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Style of art: Northern Renaissance
Technique: Oil
Materials: Wood
Date of creation: 1500-th
Size: 105×118.5 cm
Content 18+
Artwork in collection: - Vlad Maslov
Artwork in selections: 18 selections
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Description of the artwork «Crucified Martyr»

This triptych of Hieronymus Bosch, represented in Venice, in the Doge's Palace. The first mention of it is found in the inventory of the collection of the Doges, made in 1771, the year Antonio Zanetti. In the XIX century "The crucified Martyr" was transported to Vienna, and in 1919, after the war on the continent, returned to Venice badly damaged. Particularly affected side flaps.

The Central part

In the center of the image stands a cross. On it, contrary to expectations, not a Savior, but a graceful woman with long red hair, a crown and splendid dress. Around the cross huddled men clothing gives them the representatives of various social classes. They are scurrying around, gazing at the crucified, pointing fingers, and one even fainted, and he was immediately at the foot of the cross, trying to bring to life.

Bosch, as we know, was not in the habit to name his paintings, so most of his works are named after the collectors and art historians. For example, this work for a long time was called simply "Triptych of the crucified Martyr." But who exactly was crucified, there is debate as Bosch, as usual, and here leaves more puzzles than clues.

Of the most popular candidates for the Central position in the triptych of Hieronymus Bosch, it is necessary to allocate two: the St. Julian and Saint Liberata.


The veneration of Saint Juliana is common in the North of Italy (there is speculation that Bosch had been there – visited Venice). It is believed that she lived in the V century and was a native of Carthage. When in 439, the year the barbarians captured and pillaged the city, Julian was bought by the Syrian slave trader by Eusebius. Julian Christian humbly served his new owner, and he answered her with kindness and sympathy. Once Julian and Eusebius recovered on the sea in the direction of Gaul. They swam to the island of Corsica, which was a lavish feast with a rich offering of sacrifice to the pagan gods. All high Jinks, burning zhertvennyk bulls. Eusebius joined in feasting, and Juliana, not wanting to praise the pagan idols remained on the ship. The Governor of Corsica Felix Saxo was required to bring stroptimize on the occasion. Eusebius refused. Then he was drunk drunk, but Julian grabbed, dragged by force and demanded to worship the pagan gods. Christian courageously rejected this proposal. For this, the angry pagans beat her until the blood comes, and then crucified on the cross. According to legend, this time from the mouth of Juliana fluttered a white dove – a symbol of purity. Dove, however, we have a Bosch do not see. Supporters of the version that the artist in his triptych depicts this Holy (these include, for example, Walter Bosing), believe that the man had fallen into obmorok – this is Eusebius, sober, and found Julian on the cross.


Version that with Holy triptych – still not Juliana and Liberata is now considered basic. The Central argument in its favour has long been considered geographic: in the southern Netherlands in the time of Bosch's formed a cult of this Saint, which confirms the presence in the Cathedral of ' s-Hertogenbosch, hometown of the artist, the altar with the Holy Liberati (not boskhovskogo).

Reliable historical information about it has survived. It is believed that Liberata was the daughter of the warlike heathen monarch of Portugal, but she secretly converted to Christianity. My father wanted to give Liberata over the Sicilian king. Because for her, the bride of Christ, it was unthinkable, Liberata began earnestly to pray that she grew a beard. God heard the prayers. The beard has grown back. The king of Sicily, seeing such a supernatural beauty, fled in panic, and maiden honor Liberati was saved. When the father Liberati, lost through the fault of the daughter of an important dynastic Union, found that the cause was love for Christ, he angrily ordered to crucify rebellious daughter on the cross. Since Liberata is the patroness of virgins and all those who are suffering from sexual harassment.

Recent studies using infrared analysis and photos in high resolution allowed to detect on the person of the Holy traces of a beard (apparently it was on the preview picture). Thus was removed the last doubts that we face is the Holy Liberata.

The side panels of a triptych

The meaning of the right wing is unclear. Supporters version with Juliana, I suppose that it shows two slaver. The left leaf depicts St. Anthony (the Saint, this Bosch dedicated and separate triptych) or, Ioann, but how it links with the Central plot remains a mystery. It was suggested that earlier on the side leaves depicted donators (triptych customers who paid for work), but for some reason their images were subsequently recorded.

Interesting facts

On the bottom left on the Central part of the triptych is signed in Gothic script "hieronymous Bosch". However, some researchers do not agree that "the Martyrdom of Saint Liberati" belongs to Bosch.
Recently conducted x-ray diffraction (results of the study were presented to a Grand the exhibition in den Bosch in February 2016) found that the right leaf under the paint layer hiding the clearly visible outline of a male figure.

Author: Anna Yesterday