Detail of Saint Dorothea from The Virgin Mary and Five Standing Saints above Predella Panels, 1440–46. German. Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, silver stain. The Cloisters Collection, 1937 (37.52.1-.6)
This stained-glass panel depicts Saint Dorothea of Caesarea, a fourth-century virgin and martyr widely venerated in the Middle Ages. She is a patron saint of gardeners, florists, and brides. Roses and apples are her special attributes: in the earliest version of her legend, the saint was taunted by one of her persecutors, who mockingly addressed her as the Bride of Christ and demanded flowers and fruits from her bridegroom’s heavenly garden. Before her death, she sent the scoffer her headdress, miraculously fragrant with roses and apples. He was converted, professed himself a Christian, and died a martyr.