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John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Saint Eulalia  Oil on canvas, 1885  74 x 46 in  Tate Britain, London, UK
Goback 15 / 86 Forward

Title: Saint Eulalia
Description:
 
John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849 — 10 February 1917)
Saint Eulalia
Oil on canvas, 1885
74 x 46 in
Tate Britain, London, UK

Eulalia of Mérida, according to her hagiography, was a Roman Christian child martyred in Emerita, the capital of Lusitania (modern Mérida in Spain) during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian and his co-emperor Maximian. Others place her death at the time of Trajan Decius (AD 249-51). There is some dispute as to whether Saint Eulalia of Barcelona, whose story is similar, is the same person.
 
Eulalia was a devout Christian virgin, aged 12–14, whose mother sequestered her in the countryside in AD 304 because all citizens were required to avow faith in the Roman gods. Eulalia ran away to the law court of the governor Dacian at Emerita, professed herself a Christian, insulted the pagan gods and emperor Maximian, and challenged the authorities to martyr her. The judge's attempts at flattery and bribery failed. According to the Spanish-Roman poet Prudentius of the fifth century, who devoted book 3 of his Peristephanon ("About martyrs") to Eulalia, she said:
Isis Apollo Venus nihil est,
Maximianus et ipse nihil:
illa nihil, quia facta manu;
hic, manuum quia facta colit
(Isis, Apollo and Venus are naught,
Nor is Maximian anything more;
Nothing are they, for by hand they were wrought,
He, for of hands he the work doth adore)

She was then stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake, suffocating smoke inhalation. She taunted her torturers all the while, and as she expired a dove flew out of her mouth. This frightened away the soldiers and allowed a miraculous snow to cover her nakedness, its whiteness indicating her sainthood.

A shrine over her tomb was soon erected. Veneration of Eulalia was already popular with Christians by AD 350; Prudentius' poem increased her fame and relics her were distributed through Iberia. Bishop Fidelis of Mérida rebuilt a basilica in her honor around AD 560. Her shrine was the most popular in Visigothic Spain. In c. 780 her body was transferred to Oviedo by King Silo. It lies in a coffin of Arab silver donated by Afonso VI in 1075. In 1639, she was made patron saint of Oviedo. She appears in Thieleman J. van Braght, Martyrs Mirror: An account of Those who Suffered in the Fourth Century (1660).
 
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Goback 15 / 86 Forward
John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Ophelia  Oil on canvas, 1889  38.5 x 62 in  Private collectionJohn William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Saint Eulalia  Oil on canvas, 1885  74 x 46 in  Tate Britain, London, UKJohn William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  The Favorites of the Emperor Honorius  Oil on canvas, 1883  117 x 202 cm  Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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