Date: 15th century
Material: Polychromed limestone
Dimensions (cm): H 108 x W 39 x D 24
Provenance: Guimarães, Igreja de São Miguel do Castelo
Inventory No.: MAS E 16
Sculpture of Saint Margaret standing, with long clothes, stepping on a dragon, one of her iconographic attributes, from which she triumphally emerges. In the left hand, she holds a closed book. In her right hand, which is missing, she should be holding a cross that is also one of her usual attributes.
The legend has it that Saint Margaret was swallowed by a dragon, from whose belly she managed to get out by ripping it with a cross. She was, therefore, adopted as the patron saint of pregnant women.
In Guimarães, pregnant women went to the Igreja de São Miguel do Castelo to ask Saint Margaret for an easy delivery. The small church is, therefore, also known as Igreja de Santa Margarida.
This sculpture, which was worshipped on the Gospel side of the altar, has such a delicacy of expression and noble proportions that they denounce the skilled hand of a sculptor of some quality, certainly from the centre of the kingdom (as it is confirmed by the limestone in which it was worked).