This small retable of the Queen St. Isabel may possibly be considered to be the first Portuguese ex-voto. According to ancient documents, Martin de Azpilcueta, the "Navarro", a canonical professor in Coimbra between 1538 - 1555, commissioned this piece to thank the Queen for curing his niece Ana, a Celas nun, of paralysis of the lower menbers.
On the frame, in the form of a portico, Christ is praised for the Saint's "highly beneficial" divine powers. In the foreground is a full-length portrayal of the Queen; two scenes representing miracles can be seen on the right Whilst, on the letf, the outline of Renaissance Coimbra gives this work a resemblance similar to the miniature in the book rather than easel painting.


  • Title: Queen St. Isabel
  • Creator: Unknown author
  • Date Created: Mid-16th cent.
  • Location Created: Machado de Castro National Museum, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 36 cm x 29 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Photo: DGPC/ADF - Photographic Documentation Archive
  • Medium: Oil painting on wood

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