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Wooden statue of St Adrian, Europe, 1700-1850

St Adrian, also known as Hadrian, was a Roman convert to Christianity who was martyred in the early 300s CE. He was tortured so severely that at one point his intestines were exposed – which is how he is presented here. Later his limbs and head were removed. He is venerated within the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, where it is believed that saints can help protect against ill health and cure diseases. Among several attributes, St Adrian has been one of a number of saints invoked against the plague.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: plague

An acute contagious fever with high levels of mortality. Both the 'Black Death' that swept Europe in the 1340s and the Great Plague of London in 1665 are believed to have been bubonic plague.