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St Roch is represented as a pilgrim with a travelling bag on his belt. He is showing his plague spot on his upper leg. According to legend, he was infected with the plague on his way to Italy as a pilgrim, after tending the sick. He would probably have held a pilgrim’s staff in his right hand, which is now missing, as is the original plinth and part of his right foot. It is possible that the original plinth bore an angel who tended him during his illness and a dog that brought him his daily bread. St Roch was invoked mainly in connection with the plague and other infectious diseases. His devotion continues today in many countries, as well as in both provinces of Limburg, given the still existing wayside chapels devoted to St Roch.

The St Roch statue is attributed on stylistic grounds to one of the many anonymous woodcarvers from the Master of Elsloo’s circle. Current research is trying to find out the precise relationship between the statues in the extensive and incoherent Elsloo group.

Details

  • Title: Saint Roch
  • Creator: Workshop Master of Elsloo
  • Date: around 1520
  • Location Created: Roermond
  • Physical Dimensions: h. 87,5 cm
  • Provenance: Loan Bisschoppelijk Museum. © Etiënne C.L. van Sloun/Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht
  • Medium: Oak, polychromy removed

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