The legend of Saint Margaret, the Early Christian martyr also known as Marina, details the many painful ordeals she endured before her eventual death during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (r. 284–305). Having been swallowed by the devil in the guise of a dragon, the saint burst unharmed from its body after making the sign of the cross.
Dating from about 1475, this work is an outstanding example of the Languedoc style of the late fifteenth century, which was centered in medieval Toulouse. This work is remarkable for the contrast of the idealism and delicacy of the figure set against the scaly and coarse textures of the lizard-turned-dragon at the base of the composition.
Émile Molinier, Paris (until 1906); [his sale, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (June 21-28, 1906, lot 378)]; [ Jean Larcade, Paris (until at least 1960)]; Ruth and Leopold Blumka, New York (by 1967-1995); Anthony and Lois Blumka, New York (1995–2000)
Dayot, Armand, ed. Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosité du Moyen Age, de la Renaissance et Autres: Collection de feu M.É. Molinier. Paris: Galerie Durand-Ruel, June 21–28, 1906. no. 378, pp. 8–9.
Wixom, William D. Treasures from Medieval France. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967. no. VII-12, pp. 316-17, 384.
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 52.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1996-1997." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 55, no. 2 (Fall 1997). p. 23.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 237, pp. 195–96.
Wixom, William D. "Late Medieval Sculpture in the Metropolitan: 1400 to 1530." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 64, no. 4 (Spring 2007). pp. 3, 32.
Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.
Hourihane, Colum P., ed. The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture. Vol. 2. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. pl. 1.
Bos, Agnès. "Émile Molinier, the ‘Incompatible’ Roles of a Louvre Curator." Journal of the History of Collections 27, no. 3 (November 2015). pp. 317–18.