Saint Ansanus (Died ca. 304): The Iconography

Called "the Baptiser," Ansanus was a youth who preached the Christian religion in Siena, Italy. According to the legends he was denounced by his own father during the persecution of Diocletian, tortured, and beheaded.1

Portraits of St. Ansanus are all very much like the one at left: a beardless youth in a "page boy" haircut.2 He almost always holds something in one or both hands often a palm branch, a standard sometimes, sometimes a small cross.

Feast day: December 1

Hagiography: See Baluze, IV, 60-67, for a series of breviary lessons (in Latin) that cover the saint's life, death, and translation.


1Butler IV, 454. "Ansanus," Wikipedia (retrieved 2013-10-04).
The painting is by Simone Martini (1326). Lehmann Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.1.13. Photograph by Richard Stracke.