Queen St. Isabel

Unknown authorMid-16th cent.

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro
Coimbra, Portugal

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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