(b. ca. 1480, Regensburg, d. 1538, Regensburg)
The Martyrdom of St Florianc. 1530
Oil on wood, 76 x 67 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The two panels in the Uffizi (The Departure of St Florian and The Martyrdom of St Florian) make up a series (incomplete) seven representing the story of St Florian. The other panels are scattered in various museums: 3 in Nuremberg, 1 in Prague, and 1 in Bern. They are not belong to the St Florian Altarpiece executed by Altdorfer for the abbey church in Sankt Florian near Linz, Austria. It is not known whether this altarpiece was also painted for the same church.
Florian was a Roman soldier of the tow Ems in what is now Upper Austria who was converted to Christianity and martyred in 304 by being thrown into the river Ems with a millstone tied around his neck. Passers-be recovered his body which was watched over by an eagle until taken away for burial. He was said to have miraculously put out the flames of a burning building, or a whole city, with a single bucket of water. He is thus invoked against fire. He is a popular saint in Austria and Bavaria.