Saints Cosmas and Damian

Saints Cosmas and Damian

18th century
Artist
unknown artist
Locale
Quito, Ecuador
Country
Ecuador
painting
Oil paint on copper.
Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family
1990.339

Unknown artist, Saints Cosmas and Damian, 1700s. Oil paint on copper; 14 × 12 in. Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family, 1990.339.

Dimensions
height: 14 in, 35.5600 cm; width: 12 in, 30.4800 cm
Inscription
#27, #43 on reverse Painted inscription at top: Honora Medicum propter Necessitatem. Ecclj. 38 (from Eccliasticus 38:1: Honor the physician with the honor due him) Painted inscription at bottom: SS. COSMAS. ET DAMIANUS MM. / Numquid resina non est in Galaad, aut Medicus non estabi [sic]? Quare igitur non est obducta cicatrix filiae populi mei Jerem[...] (from Jeremiah 8:22: Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?)
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art

Cosmas and Damian were twins who were doctors that lived in the Roman Empire around 200 A.D. in what is now Turkey. A halo of medical instruments surround the brothers who attracted converts to Christianity through their healing powers. Ultimately, they were charged with proselytizing and beheaded, a scene that is shown in the bottom right portion of the painting. At the bottom left an apothecary is pictured in detail with shelves of jars and instruments for mixing medicines. These saints became known as protectors of sick children and this painting probably decorated a family home or perhaps a doctor's office.
-- Julie Wilson Frick & Michael Brown, 2015

Known Provenance
Gifted 26 December 1990 to the Denver Art Museum by the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.