The iconography of the Veronica in the Lombardy area during the 14th century

Stefano Candiani

(Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)


The paper contributes to knowledge of the iconography of the Veronica in the figurative arts  in 14th century Lombardy, with special emphasis on images from illuminated manuscripts and depictions found in the Ambrosian diocese. The starting point is a miniature from a little known Ambrosian Book of Martyrs  (Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, 78 C 16 e Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, P 165 sup., ff. 1r-21v; anni ’30 del XIV secolo) which depicts saint Veronica probably as she hands over the relic to the canons of the Basilica of St Peter’s.

As well as investigating the relationship between image and text, the paper attempts to identify the iconographic antecedents of this rendition. The paper then broadens out to include other witnesses of the fortune of the image of the Veronica, such as, among others, the fresco on the counterfacade of the Basilica of San Vincenzo a Galliano (Cantù) and the fresco from San Giovanni in conca, now preserved in the Pinacoteca of the  Castello Sforzesco, both not very distant in time from the Ambrosian Book of Martyrs.

The European Fortune of the Roman Veronica ​in the Middle Ages