Saint Veronica's Veil

Bernardino di Bosio Zaganelli, Italian (active Romagna), c. 1470 - c. 1510

Made in Italy, Europe

c. 1500

Oil on panel

10 1/2 x 8 inches (26.7 x 20.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 213, European Art 1100-1500, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 160

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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According to legend, Veronica wiped the sweat from Christ’s brow with her veil as he carried the cross to Calvary and, miraculously, an image of Christ’s face became emblazoned on the cloth. The piece of fabric believed to be Veronica’s veil is preserved in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and has long been one of the most prized relics of Christianity. Here, Zaganelli creates a replica of Veronica’s veil in paint. Like the relic, this portrayal of the disembodied head of Christ bespeaks the perceived power of the image of Christ and the deep veneration inspired by representations of his face.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.