ST. MARTIN of TOURS
DRAWING by DANIEL MITSUI
St. Martin of Tours was a bishop and confessor in early medieval France. This drawing illustrates a famous incident from his life, which was told by his hagiographer Sulpicius Severus:
At a certain period, when he had nothing except his arms and his simple military dress, in the middle of winter, a winter which had shown itself more severe than ordinary, so that the extreme cold was proving fatal to many, he happened to meet at the gate of the city of Amiens a poor man destitute of clothing. He was entreating those that passed by to have compassion upon him, but all passed the wretched man without notice, when Martin, that man full of God, recognized that a being to whom others showed no pity, was, in that respect, left to him. Yet, what should he do? He had nothing except the cloak in which he was clad, for he had already parted with the rest of his garments for similar purposes. Taking, therefore, his sword with which he was girt, he divided his cloak into two equal parts, and gave one part to the poor man, while he again clothed himself with the remainder. Upon this, some of the by-standers laughed, because he was now an unsightly object, and stood out as but partly dressed. Many, however, who were of sounder understanding, groaned deeply because they themselves had done nothing similar. They especially felt this, because, being possessed of more than Martin, they could have clothed the poor man without reducing themselves to nakedness. In the following night, when Martin had resigned himself to sleep, he had a vision of Christ arrayed in that part of his cloak with which he had clothed the poor man.
I surrounded this picture with a border of decorative teasels. Below it is a medallion with the words Sancte Martine, Ora Pro Nobis.
Medium: Drawing, Color ink on calfskin vellum
Dimensions: 4" × 7"
An open-edition giclée print of this drawing is available for $27. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address.
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