Enamel plaque depicting St. Cosmas annointing the head of a patient, by Leonard Limousin, Limoges, France, 16th century
Many Christians have long believed that the saints are able to plead with God on their behalf and that particular saints can give protection against specific illnesses. This plaque shows St Cosmas anointing a sick person and was made by the French artist Léonard Limousin (c. 1505-c. 1575).
St Cosmas (d. circa 303 CE) was a Christian martyr who with his twin St Damian practised the art of healing. They received no payment. The twins are often represented in paintings; most famously they are shown miraculously giving a white Christian man who has lost his leg a new black one from a Moor. The Moors were Muslim people from North Africa. St Cosmas and St Damian are the patron saints of physicians, surgeons, druggists and dentists.
- Ethnography and Folk Medicine
- Object Number:
- Daguerre, H.
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.