Jan Vermeer
St. Praxedes

1655
Oil on canvas
Private collection

Typical of 16th- and 17th-century images of Praxedes and her sister, this painting has the saint wringing into a small urn a sponge wet with the blood of a martyr. In this case, the martyr lies dismembered behind her.

This painting only recently has been attributed to Vermeer. See Boone. Vermeer's work is a very close copy of another painting of the previous decade by Felice Ficherelli. The only notable difference is the rather clumsy addition of the crucifix balancing in Praxedes' hands.

There does not seem to be any carrying forward into the Ficherelli/Vermeer iconography of anything about the face, hair, or clothing of earlier images.

More of SS. Praxedes and Pudentiana

Source: Wikimedia Commons