The Palazzo Bellomo Altarpiece of St. Barbara

16th century
Oil on panel, 61 x 77 in. (155 x 195 cm.)
Palazzo Bellomo, Syracuse, Sicily

In the tall central panel we see the saint with all her attributes: the tower with three windows at the pinnacle, the crown, the chalice with host, the palm branch, and the canon. The small images trace her life as follows:

Left side:

  1. Barbara has three windows placed in the tower.

  2. Barbara escapes into the hills from her father Dioscorus, who pursues.

  3. Dioscorus brings Barbara to the judge, Marcianus.

  4. An angel saves Barbara from death by fire.
Right side:
  1. Marcianus orders public torture. (Not photographed.)

  2. The pagans cut off Barbara's breasts.

  3. She is whipped through the streets.

  4. Dioscorus beheads her and is struck by lightning.
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Photographed at the site by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.