A WONDERFUL EARLY 16TH CENTURY CARVED OAK GROUP OF ST URSULA AND HER ELEVEN HANDMAIDENS BENEATH HER CLOAK. NETHERLANDS. CIRCA 1500.
Saint Ursula was a legendary Romano-British princess traditionally believed to have died as a Christian martyr together with 11,000 other virgins in Cologne, Germany around 383 C.E. At the request of her father, King Donaut of Cornwall, Ursula and her companions set sail to join her future husband, the pagan governor Conan Meriadoc, in Brittany. However, a miraculous storm prevented their arrival there, and Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. She came with her huge entourage of handmaidens to Rome, where she persuaded Pope "Cyriacus" (otherwise unknown) to join them. Eventually arriving at Cologne, they found the city besieged by the Huns. Ursula's friends were beheaded in a dreadful massacre, and the barbarian leader (also unknown) then shot Ursula dead with an arrow. Ursula and her fellow virgins were buried in Cologne, where the Church of St. Ursula is dedicated to her. She was widely venerated until the modern era.
24" HIGH X 12.5" WIDE.
STOCK NO 1240.