Bastia, near Assisi, the early 16th century
Fresco, trasferred to canvas in the 19th century
Ansanus (died 303) was a Sienese nobleman martyred by the Emperor Diocletian for converting to Christianity.
He was the city’s earliest patron saint. He is shown holding his trachea, lungs, heart and liver, possibly in reference to his gruesome death. This explains his other role as the saint invoked by sufferers from chest disease.
The figure was part of a fresco which was detached from the walls of a church at Bastia in central Italy. Ansanus was originally paired with Saint Sebastian and they flanked the Virgin and Child. Opposite were Saints Clare and Francis, also in the collection.
Purchased 1944 (No.44.4a)