Three Legends of Saint Nicholas (About 1500 - 1520)
About this artwork
St Nicholas first appears here as a newly born baby miraculously standing up and praying. In the centre panel, he is an adult, looking through the window of an impoverished widower’s house. His anonymous present of money will provide dowries (marriage gifts) for the widower’s three daughters and save them from destitution. Finally, he is shown as a bishop reviving three murdered boys. St Nicholas was Archbishop of Myra, Asia Minor, in the fourth century who, famous for his kindness to children, was later associated with Santa Claus. The three panels formed part of a predella of a larger altarpiece (the other panels are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Toledo Museum, Ohio).
- title: Three Legends of Saint Nicholas
- accession number: NG 2213
- artist: Gerard DavidNetherlandish (about 1460 - 1523)
- depicted: St Nicholas
- gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
- object type: Painting
- subject: Children Christian saints Religious
- materials: Oil on panel
- date created: About 1500 - 1520
- measurements: 3 panels each: 55.90 x 33.70 cm (framed: 73.30 x 131.40 x 9.00 cm)
- credit line: Purchased with the aid of the Art Fund and a Treasury Grant 1959
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
David was the leading painter in Bruges at the end of the fifteenth century. His meticulous oil paintings, with their close attention to lifelike detail, were inspired in part by Jan van Eyck’s technique. The majority of paintings produced in his busy workshop were either altarpieces or small religious pictures for private devotion. Some included accomplished portraits of the paintings’ patrons. Late in his career he may have run a second workshop in Antwerp, which at the start of the sixteenth century flourished as an important commercial and artistic centre.