Possibly dated from 1530–32, the iconography on this panel portrays something very similar to the description of the life and miracles of two physician brothers, martyred in the 3rd century. "The Golden Legend" (ca. 1275) describes this posthumous miracle: the vestry-keeper of a church in Rome had gangrenous leg; whilst he slept, the Saints cured him by amputating the offending member, replacing it with that of a recently buried Ethiopian. The black leg is evident here when compared to the rest of his dying man's body. Another detail that captures the observer's attention is the decentralized composition, which may be the result of an early mutilation of the piece.


  • Title: St. Cosme and St. Damian
  • Creator: Garcia Fernandes
  • Date Created: 16th cent., 2nd quarter
  • Location Created: Machado de Castro National Museum, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 127.5 cm x 54.8 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Photo: DGPC/ADF - Photographic Documentation Archive
  • Medium: Oil painting on wood

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