Saint Barbara was the daughter of Dioscorus who imprisonned her in a tower to prevent her from being corrupted by Christianity. Despite this, she was taught and baptisted by a local priest. According to legend, she proved her faith by carving a third window into the tower, symbolic of the Trinity.
Once her father learned this, he threatened her with his sword. She managed to escape and hide, not before being revealed by a sheperd. She was thrown in jail and tortured, refusing to denounce her faith. Her father forced her up to the mountain’s summit and decapitated her, afterwhich God struck him down by lightning.
Saint Barbara`s following was popularized in the Occident in the 13th century because of the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine, reaching its full influence in 15th century.
This sculpture, carved from a single piece of oak represents Saint Barbara in her more traditional pose.
She leans against the crenellated tower, cradling the Bible in her left hand. The first four steps are left at the tower base, leading to a smooth opening for the remaining staircase.
She is standing contrapposto, her right knee slightly bent breaks up the rigidity of her posture. She is wearing a filted corset and a skirt tied at the waist. Under the corset we can see her puffed layered chemise. A thick coat covers her left shoulder and falls in folds to her feet.
Her beautiful face, framed by her long curls, still conserves its extraordinary polychromy. She has a rounded chin, fine lips and nose, and her eyes are drifting downwards, deep in reflection and thought.