OIL PAINTING: Saint Eulalia, 1885
A little background of this painting of Waterhouse: Eulalia was a virgin martyr. She was born in Merida, in Spain, where she was put to death by the Romans in about 304 AD. The Spanish poet Prudentius describes how, at the moment of her death, a white dove symbolising the soul flew from her mouth and ascended to heaven. Eulalia's executioners were so terrified they fled the Forum, where she had been tortured and then killed. A great snow fell and blanketed the tragic spot. Her body was miraculously covered in pure whiteness, showing Eulalia had become a saint. This is the only treatment of this subject in British art.