Collection: St. Justa

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Bartolomé Estéban Murillo – c. 1665

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's exquisite three-quarter–length painting of Saint Justa is one of his most beautiful devotional paintings and helped bolster his fame as the preeminent religious painter of the Spanish Golden Age, which spanned the 16th and 17th centuries.

Saint Justa and her sister, Saint Rufina, were third-century Christian martyrs from the town of Triana, Spain, near the city of Seville. According to legend, the sisters were selling pottery on the streets of the city when a Roman procession passed them and demanded that they sacrifice to their gods. When they refused, the Romans broke their pottery, whereupon Justa and Rufina smashed the pagan idol. Justa and Rufina were arrested and tortured; Justa died in prison, and her body was thrown down a well; Rufina was later martyred at the amphitheater of Seville.

Her feast day is July 19.