By Anne Leader
Today (4 December) is the Feast of St. Barbara. An early Christian martyr, Barbara was the daughter of a wealthy pagan. He kept her locked in a tower, which became her main attribute. Barbara is the patron saint of architects, mathematicians, and prisoners.
Domenico Ghirlandaio, St Barbara, c. 1471, fresco, Parish Church of Sant’Andrea, Cercina
Francesco Bartolozzi, The Martyrdom of St. Barbara, mid 18th century
Paolo Veronese, Holy Family with St. Barbara and Young St. John, c. 1565