Collection: St. Ursula and Her Maidens

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Niccolò di Pietro – c. 1412

According to historians, Ursula lived in the period between 300 and 600 AD but is not known precisely when. There are various stories about her life, but the legend states that Ursula and her 11,000 followers, a group of holy virgins, were killed by the Huns in Cologne on an uncertain date.

Saint Ursula is shown with some of the eleven thousand virgins with whom she is said to have been martyred by the Huns around 383 A.D. A leading late Gothic painter in Venice, Niccolò di Pietro seems to have had contact with northern, perhaps Bohemian, art, and was deeply influenced as well by Michelino da Besozzo and Gentile da Fabriano, both of whom were active in the city. The decorative richness of Niccolò’s paintings derives from Venice’s trade with the middle east and the importation of Islamic textiles.

Her feast day is October 21.