The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Saint Roch
  • Carlo Crivelli (1430 - 1495)
  • Saint Roch
  • Italy
  • c. 1480
  • Painting
  • Tempera and oil on limewood panel
  • Object size: 40 x 12.1 cm
    Image size: 38.7 x 11.1 cm, painted area
    Frame size: 60 x 27.5 x 6.5 cm
  • P527
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Further Reading
  • Saint Roch (1293-1327) was born into a rich family in Montpellier, but gave away his inheritance and embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome. Along the way he comforted victims of the plague, contracting the disease himself which resulted in a sore on his thigh. The Black Death ravaged Europe in the fourteenth century and Saint Roch became established as a protector of the sick. The Wallace Collection’s picture is one of the earliest representations of the saint, who became a favoured subject both as a devotional figure and as an intercessor with the Virgin on behalf of those hoping to be spared infection (cf. Cima P1). He is identified by his wound and by his pilgrim’s hat, cloak and staff. The picture is dateable c.1480, or a little later, and may have formed a pendant to a figure of Saint Sebastian (Milan, Poldi Pezzoli Museum) in a polyptych.