(b. ca. 1590, Roma, d. 1651, Mantova)
Oil on canvas, 55 x 42 cm
Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Part of the legend of St Margaret states that the martyr was tempted by a dragon, which then devoured her. However, the maiden ripped her way out of its belly with a cross. Unhurt by the experience, this assured her a position as protector of women in childbirth.
In this painting, which was executed with the contribution of Domenico Fetti, the artist's brother, St Margaret is depicted with leg bent as she crushes the head of a dragon with her graceful bare foot. The cross is shown in her right hand.