OIL PAINTING: St. Casilda of Burgos, 1638-1642
Zurbaran at his best may be said to have given new life to certain qualities found in the Mozarabic miniatures and Romanesque panel paintings - majesty, serenity and brilliance of colour. Zurbaran had already made his name, and was a court painter - though he had not yet come under the not altogether felicitous influence of Murillo - when Zurbaran painted this Andalusian girl with her attractively irregular features, elegantly dressed in heavy, shimmering silks, wearing pearls and a coronet and holding roses in her hand, the only indication of her identity. For St Casilda is associated with the miraculous transformation of bread into roses as was St Elizabeth of Hungary and Thuringia. Casilda was the daughter of the Emir of Toledo and was secretly converted to Christianity. She gave bread to her father's prisoners. When the bread was miraculously turned into flowers she was saved from exposure like the charitable Elizabeth who gave food to the poor.
The left side of the painting - St. Casilda of Burgos was cut.