ROMANESQUE PAINTER, French
(active c. 1100)

Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured

c. 1100
Fresco
Crypt, Abbey Church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (Vienne)

The church of St Savin-sur-Gartempe, some thirty miles east of Poitiers, contains the most extensive cycle of Romanesque wall-paintings in France. Those in the crypt represent scenes from the lives of the two patron saints of the church, Sts Savinus and Cyprian. They were believed to be two fifth-century Christian converts who lived in northern Italy. Persecuted for their faith they fled to a location on the Gartempe river in France, where they were put to death. Their relics were discovered in the ninth century and are preserved in the crypt of the church.