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17th/18th Century Tuscan Terracotta Figure

17th/18th Century Tuscan Terracotta Figure.

A 17th / 18th century Tuscan polychrome decorated terracotta figure of Saint Roch

dressed as a Roman gladiator, stood a contraposto and holding a staff in his left hand (now missing), his dog seated beside him, on a rectangular base centred by a cartouche, losses to polychrome, 54cm high

Saint Roch (1293-1327) born in Montpelier, he made a pilgrimage to Rome (perhaps an explanation for his depiction here in Roman clothing) where the plaque was widespread and became known as a healer of the sick. He carries his staff, a sign of pilgrimage, and is represented with the dog that saved his life when he lay dying in the desert, himself stricken with the plague. Because of this he is the patron saint of plaque victims, and is often depicted with Cosmos and Damian and Saint Sebastian who were all invoked against the plaque.


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