Oldest known painting, fourteenth century

Oldest known painting, fourteenth century

This late-14th-century miniature portrait, thought to be the oldest known painting of St. Apollonia (unknown artist), was elaborately executed on a parchment sheet and enhanced with gold highlights. It is found in a book of prayers that had belonged to a Dominican cloister in Flanders, but was discovered in London in 1914 by John Wessler.
Dimensions: 2" x 2" (5 x 5 cm)
Courtesy of the John Wessler Collection, Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (hagstromerlibrary.ki.se)

Kirk, EC and Anthony, LP (eds) 1918 St. Apollonia and her picture in the Nidaros Breviary, by John Wessler. Review of Current Dental Literature, The Dental Cosmos 25(1):87; Lantz, A 2016 Saint Apollonia, patron saint of odontology. Hektoen Intl J (hekint.org) 8(3), Chicago, IL: Hektoen Institute of Medicine.
Jean Fouquet miniature, fifteenth century

Jean Fouquet miniature, fifteenth century

French miniature painter and illuminator Jean Fouquet created this elaborate illustration on vellum of the martyrdom of St. Apollonia for an illuminated book of hours (Les Heures d’Étienne Chevalier, c1452). In this scene, onlookers are seated as though attending a medieval miracle play.
Dimensions: 7 7/8" x 5 3/4" (20 x 15 cm)
Public Domain — WikiArt.org

Reynaud, N 2006 Jean Fouquet: Les Heures d'Étienne Chevalier. Dijon: Éditions Faton; Ring, ME 1985 Dentistry: An Illustrated History, New York, NY: Abradale Press; “Web Gallery of Art” 2017 Miniatures from the Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier (1452-60) (wga.hu)
Piero della Francesca panel, fifteenth century

Piero della Francesca panel, fifteenth century

St. Apollonia is unadorned but colorful in this oil and tempera with gold on poplar panel attributed to Italian artist Piero della Francesca, c1455/1460. This piece originally hung on the main alter of the church of Sant’Agostino in Italy but now resides in the National Gallery of Art. Some may recognize it as the model for Andy Warhol’s 20th-century St. Apollonia silk screens.
Dimensions: 15 1/4" x 11" (38.8 x 28 cm)
Courtesy of the Samuel H. Kress Collection, NGA (nga.gov)

“National Gallery of Art” 2017 Saint Apollonia, provenance (nga.gov); “The Frick Collection” 2017 Saint Apollonia painting description (frick.org); Wynbrandt, J 1998 The Excruciating History of Dentistry. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
Compassion for toothache sufferer, fifteenth century

Compassion for toothache sufferer, fifteenth century

In this 15th-century illustration, reproduced from an enlargement of a woodcut (unknown artist), St. Apollonia expresses compassion for the toothache sufferer, soothing his swollen cheek with one hand while grasping her symbolic forceps-with-tooth in the other. Sister Wendy Beckett describes St. Apollonia as “a tough old Egyptian lady,” and, appropriately, this setting may suggest a North African scene, with a Moorish tower and tropical tree in the background, and a local beseecher with Nilotic hairstyle and attire.
Dimensions: 6" x 4 1/2" (15.2 x 11.4 cm)
Courtesy of the John Wessler Collection, Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
(hagstromerlibrary.ki.se)

Beckett, W 1998 Sister Wendy’s Book of Saints. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press.
Oil on slate portrait, fifteenth century

Oil on slate portrait, fifteenth century

This original 15th-century oil on slate painting of St. Apollonia (unknown artist) came from a church in Ascoli Piceno, Italy that was desecrated in 1925 under dictator Mussolini’s National Fascist Party government. Monsignor Sciocchetti and his brother, artist Father Luigi Sciocchetti, who brought the painting with them when they moved to the Bay Area, had been banished from Italy by Mussolini. Born in Ascoli Piceno in 1878, Luigi Sciocchetti was ordained as a priest by the Pope and allowed to study art at the Vatican Gallery. After five years as pastor of the Holy Cross Church in San Jose, he retired in 1930 and dedicated himself to religious art that can be found in several churches around the Bay Area.
Dimensions: 8 1/4" x 6 1/2" (20.1 x 16.5 cm)
Donor: Frederick S. Warford, DDS

“Busacca Gallery” 2013 Ceramic Terra Cotta Boy Sculpture Marker & Epitaph by L. Sciocchetti (busaccagallery@sbcglobal.net); Hughes, EM 1986. Artists in California, 1786-1940. San Francisco, CA: Hughes Publishing Company.
Cornelius van Merlen woodcut, seventeenth century

Cornelius van Merlen woodcut, seventeenth century

This original c1660 hand-colored woodcut on vellum by Cornelius van Merlin of Antwerp shows St. Apollonia holding her insignia forceps in one hand and a martyr’s palm frond, likely symbolizing the triumph of her spirit over adversity, in the other. She radiates within an elaborate border as a basket of apples, possibly symbolizing salvation, hovers above.
Dimensions: 3 1/2" x 2 5/8" (8.9 x 6.7 cm)
Donor: Maurice J. Owens, DDS

Ferguson, G 1961 Signs and Symbols in Christian Art. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Carlo Dolci painting, seventeenth century

Carlo Dolci painting, seventeenth century

St. Apollonia, oil on canvas, as imagined in 1670 by pious Italian Baroque period painter Carlo Dolci of Florence.
Dimensions: 25 1/8" x 21 1/4" (63.9 x 53.9 cm)
Courtesy of Robilant+Voena, via commons.wikimedia.org
Dutch woodcut, seventeenth century

Dutch woodcut, seventeenth century

This original 17th-century Dutch woodcut (unknown artist) of the Saint finds her seated in a formal setting, elegantly dressed and wearing a tiara with matching necklace.
Dimensions: 5 1/8" x 3 7/8" (13 x 9.8 cm)
Donor: Maurice J. Owens, DDS
Francesco de Zurbarán painting, seventeenth century

Francesco de Zurbarán painting, seventeenth century

A reproduction of Francesco de Zurbarán’s 1626 oil on canvas painting was used to create this 2008 St. Apollonia Cabernet Sauvignon wine bottle label for two of our notable grads, Drs. Gary & Gabrielle Thodas. Sister Wendy Beckett evaluates Zurbarán’s portrayal: “This, he seems to say, is the real saint, this gracious and charming lady, dressed to the nines and yet moving purposely towards a terrible death at the call of fidelity. Her neat little mouth gives no indication that she is toothless, and though she accepted the instrument of her torment she does not brandish it with any personal interest. What Zurbarán depicts is a saint’s interest in the end, never in the means.” Dimensions of Zurbarán original: 44 1/2" x 26" (113 x 66 cm)
Zurbarán inset: Public Domain — WikiArt.org
Label courtesy of the designer, Gloria Chirichillo

Beckett, W 1996 The Mystery of Love: Saints in art through the centuries. London: HarperCollins Publishers.
Francesco de Zurbarán painting, seventeenth century

Francesco de Zurbarán painting, seventeenth century

A reproduction of Francesco de Zurbarán’s 1626 oil on canvas painting was used to create this 2008 St. Apollonia Cabernet Sauvignon wine bottle label for two of our notable grads, Drs. Gary & Gabrielle Thodas. Sister Wendy Beckett evaluates Zurbarán’s portrayal: “This, he seems to say, is the real saint, this gracious and charming lady, dressed to the nines and yet moving purposely towards a terrible death at the call of fidelity. Her neat little mouth gives no indication that she is toothless, and though she accepted the instrument of her torment she does not brandish it with any personal interest. What Zurbarán depicts is a saint’s interest in the end, never in the means.” Dimensions of Zurbarán original: 44 1/2" x 26" (113 x 66 cm)
Zurbarán inset: Public Domain — WikiArt.org
Label courtesy of the designer, Gloria Chirichillo

Beckett, W 1996 The Mystery of Love: Saints in art through the centuries. London: HarperCollins Publishers.
Dutch woodcut, eighteenth century

Dutch woodcut, eighteenth century

In this 18th-century Dutch woodcut (unknown artist), St. Apollonia appears severe, with little hair on the crown of her head, yet serene. Holding her insignia forceps-with-tooth in one hand, she carries isolated teeth in the folds of her robe.
Dimensions: 4 1/8" x 2 3/4" (10.5 x 7 cm)
Donor: Maurice J. Owens, DDS
Prayer book illustration, eighteenth century

Prayer book illustration, eighteenth century

St. Apollonia strikes an aristocratic pose, wearing contemporary, fashionable clothing and a small crown, signifying royalty, in this 18th-century aquarelle on parchment image (unknown artist) taken from a prayer book. Early accounts indicate she held prominent status in Alexandria’s Christian community, but a regal heritage was not implied until late in the Middle Ages. In this portrait, her elegance and stylishness suggest a French artist’s influence.
Dimensions: 4 1/2" x 3" (11.4 x 7.6 cm)
Courtesy of the John Wessler Collection, Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (hagstromerlibrary.ki.se)
German woodcut, eighteenth century

German woodcut, eighteenth century

Four angels accompany St. Apollonia in this mid-18th-century colored woodcut (unknown artist), hand-printed in Nuremburg. Angels are plentiful in early accounts of her martyrdom. One account suggests, “When she was eventually thrown into prison, where her teeth were stoned out, she was visited by angels, who sought to comfort her. In her prayers to God, Apollonia pleaded that all those who suffered from toothache would be granted freedom from pain upon invoking her name. Another angel then appeared to tell her that this appeal had been granted.”
Dimensions: 4" x 5" (10.2 x 12.7 cm)
Courtesy of the John Wessler Collection, Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (hagstromerlibrary.ki.se)
F. Huberti woodcut, eighteenth century

F. Huberti woodcut, eighteenth century

F. Huberti, possibly a local artist, created this 18th-century water color-washed woodcut of St. Apollonia sitting against a lush background and dressed in a colorful costume. She grasps a delicate forceps and martyr’s palm in either hand. Written in Dutch on the back of this small painting, which may have served as a birth certificate, are a boy’s name and his date of baptism: June 24, 1789.
Dimensions: 4 1/2" x 3 1/4" (11.4 x 8.3 cm)
Donor: Maurice J. Owens, DDS
Book engraving, nineteenth century

Book engraving, nineteenth century

This 19th-century black & white original engraving (unknown artist) shows St. Apollonia standing in a field of stylized corn, grains and buttercups holding her symbolic forceps-with-tooth and a platter of isolated teeth. She gazes upward at a radiant sky. “V. M.” signifies her virgin-martyr status.
Dimensions: 12 7/8" x 9 1/8" (32.7 x 23.2 cm)
Donor: Maurice J. Owens, DDS
Dental catalog ad, twentieth century

Dental catalog ad, twentieth century

In this 20th-century printed advertisement (unknown artist), a pensive St. Apollonia prominently displays her distinctive forceps-with-tooth. She is surrounded by interwoven Calla Lilies whose stems are intertwined with other dental instruments possibly available for purchase from the Interstate Drug Exchange Inc. Dental Catalog.
Dimensions: 8 3/4" x 7 1/4" (22.2 x 18.4 cm)
Donor: Unknown
Courtesy of Interstate Drug Exchange Inc., Plainview, NY
Moe Turner poster, twentieth century

Moe Turner poster, twentieth century

St. Apollonia gracefully holds a candle to mark the 150th year of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, the oldest dental school in the world, in this celebratory poster commissioned from artist Moe Turner by the University of Maryland.
Dimensions: 38"x 25" (96.5 x 63.5 cm)
Donor: unknown
Courtesy of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD

McCauley, HB 2003 The first dental college: emergence of dentistry as an autonomous profession. J Hist Dent 51(1):41-45.
Fadi Mikhail painting, twenty-first century

Fadi Mikhail painting, twenty-first century

In this 21st-century Neo-Coptic painting, derived from the artistic style of ancient Egypt, artist Fadi Mikhail adorns St. Apollonia in simple white cloth with matching headscarf. Bordered by the fronds of martyr palms and with angels hovering above, she kneels, encircled by flames.
Dimensions: 15 3/4" x 11 3/4" (40 x 30 cm)
Courtesy of artist Fadi Mikhail, UK Coptic Icons (ukcopticicons.com)