UNKNOWN MASTER, Netherlandish
(active c. 1450)

St Eligius in His Workshop

c. 1450
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This mid 15th century engraving by a master referred to as Bileam Master depicts a typical goldsmith workshop. It shows Bishop Eligius, patron saint of goldsmiths, at work. The saint is seen sitting in the middle of his workshop, hammering the cup of a chalice on an anvil. This is one of the basic work techniques of goldsmiths, who were especially adept at beating metal. Two apprentices are seated on the right at a workbench, one stamping metal, the other working on the buckle of a belt. The apprentice on the left in front of the richly adorned furnace is pulling wire through a perforated board.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.