Francesco del Cossa
St. Lucy

Tempera, gold, wood
National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection

As usual in Italian portraits of St. Lucy, and indeed of all virgin martyrs, she is pictured as a young blonde with a palm branch. The painting also exemplifies a change of attributes in 15th-century portraits of this saint. She had traditionally been pictured with a flaming lamp, but by the 15th century her cult was firmly associated with cures for blindness, so her most common attribute became a pair of eyes.

Most other portraits of this kind have the eyes on a golden plate, but a few do show Lucy holding them with her fingers.

Read more about St. Lucy.

Source: Wikimedia Commons