Helena, Saint


Helena, Saint
(c. 250-c. 330)
   Saint Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great who, in 313, issued the Edict of Milan that allowed Christians to practice their faith freely in the Roman Empire. Helena converted to Christianity at the age of 63, built a number of churches, and helped the poor and the sick. She also traveled to Palestine, where she discovered the true cross on which Christ was crucified. In Piero della Francesca's Legend of the True Cross in the Cappella Maggiore at San Francesco, Arezzo (c. 1454-1458), St. Helena is one of the main protagonists. Cornelis Engelbrechtsz depicted her in his Constantine and St. Helena (c. 1510-1520; Munich, Alte Pinakothek) with youthful features and holding the cross as her attribute, as did Andrea Bolgi in his sculpture for the crossing (where the nave and transept cross) of St. Peter's (1629-1630), Rome. Paolo Veronese rendered the Dream of St. Helen (c. 1580; Vatican, Pinacoteca) that led to the finding of the cross, an unconventional depiction that inspired the heroic female saints of the Baroque era.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Helena — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Helena imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Female meaning = region = origin = related names = Helen, Helene footnotes = Helena is a given name. People known by the given name Helena*Helena Paparizou,… …   Wikipedia

  • Helena — /hel euh neuh/; for 3 also /heuh lee neuh/, n. 1. Saint, c247 c330, mother of Constantine I. 2. a city in and the capital of Montana, in the W part. 23,938. 3. a female given name, form of Helen. * * * I City (pop., 2000: 25,780), capital of… …   Universalium

  • Saint — 1347 80, Italian ascetic and mystic. died A.D. 731, pope 715 731. died A.D. 741, pope 731 741. died A.D. 352, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 337 352. died A.D. 683, Sicilian ecclesiastic: pope 682 683. died A.D. 855, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 847… …   Universalium

  • saint — saintless, adj. /saynt/, n. 1. any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, esp. by canonization. 2. a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence. 3. a founder, sponsor, or… …   Universalium


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