Riva | Saint Gothard

About this Object

This eighteenth century engraving by Giovanni Maria Riva depicts Saint Gothard with a roundel at each corner showing the miracles accomplished by the saint during his life. In the top left, a yound man is resuscitated after being drowned; in the top right, a thief is restored to life after being hanged; in the bottom left, Gothard heals the blind and the infirm; in the bottom right, a groom is resuscitated after drowning while leading his horses to water. Born in 960 in Upper Bavaria, Gothard was educated in the monastery school of Niederaltaich and at the court of Archbishop Frederick of Salzburg, Austria. Frederick made him provost of the canons at Niederaltaich, where, already ordained priest, Gothard became a Benedictine monk (990), provost, and abbot (996/997). Emperor Henry II nominated Gothard as successor to Bernward, bishop of Hildesheim in 1022. During his tenure he restored the cathedral, consecrated more than 30 churches, promoted and reformed education, tightened asceticism, founded schools, and established a hospice for the sick and the poor at nearby Sankt Moritz. In 1132 his relics were transferred from the cathedral to a Benedictine monastery in Hildesheim founded in his honour by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

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Connection to last week's item: Cézanne's engraving has the small figure of a hanged man in the upper left corner, in the top right of this engraving Gothard is shown bringing a hanged man back to life.