Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d'Alemagna
Polyptych of St. Sabina

Chapel of St. Tarasio
Church of San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy

This polyptych stood over an altar in which were enclosed the relics of St. Sabina. Her portrait is the anchor panel. As a martyr she holds a palm branch and wears a crown. Crowns are not always used to identify martyred saints. Here Sabina's very elaborate crown may be due to the phrase in the last sentence of her legend, "St. Sabina suffered on August 29th and was crowned [i.e., martyred] along with Serapia, the courageous virgin of Christ…."1

The saint is remembered in the Martyrologium Romanum for August 29. Her legend and a number of related medieval texts are collected in her article in the Acta Sanctorum, vol. 6, 496-504. Also see Butler, III, 442-43.

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Photographed at the chapel by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

1 Acta Sanctorum, August vol. 6, 504.