St. Elizabeth of Portugal – (Francisco Zurbaran) Previous Next


Style: Baroque

Topic: Saints Woman Women Europe

Technique: Oil

Zurbarán at his best may be said to have given new life to certain qualities found in the Mozarabic miniatures and Romanesque panel paintings - majesty, serenity and brilliance of colour. He had already made his name, and was a court painter - though he had not yet come under the not altogether felicitous influence of Murillo - when he painted this Andalusian girl with her attractively irregular features, elegantly dressed in heavy, shimmering silks, wearing pearls and a coronet and holding roses in her hand, the only indication of her identity. For St Elizabeth of Portugal is associated with the miraculous transformation of bread into roses as was St Elizabeth of Hungary and Thuringia. There are many versions of the story of Elizabeth's miracle of turning bread into roses, but they are all fundamentally the same. She is said to have been forbidden by her unfaithful husband to give to the poor. Having hid bread to give away in her apron, she encountered King Diniz, who asked her what she was carrying. Not wanting to let on that the contents of her apron were meant for the poor, she responded that they were roses. The bread was transformed into roses, and King Dinis, who could not understand how she could have possession of fresh roses in January, did not punish his wife. The left side of the painting was cut.

This artwork is in the public domain.



Click here to download


Free for non commercial use. See below.

Francisco Zurbaran – Most viewed artworks

Public domain

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. However - you may not use this image for commercial purposes and you may not alter the image or remove the watermark.

This applies to the United States, Canada, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.

Note that a few countries have copyright terms longer than 70 years: Mexico has 100 years, Colombia has 80 years, and Guatemala and Samoa have 75 years. This image may not be in the public domain in these countries, which moreover do not implement the rule of the shorter term. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years and Honduras has 75 years, but they do implement that rule of the shorter term.