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Saint Maurice - Lucas Cranach the Elder Greeting Card


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A commander of the Roman legion, Maurice was martyred near Agaunum (in present-day Switzerland) in A.D. 280 or 300 for refusing to slaughter Christians. He was from North Africa, and in the thirteenth century in Germany he began to be shown as Black, influenced by the reign of the Emperor Friedrich II (1194–1250). Friedrich's vast territories comprised a diverse community of individuals, and his court in Sicily included Black advisors, soldiers, and musicians. This representation of Maurice is not based on an actual African individual but instead on the life-size reliquary statue of the saint housed in the Neues Stift, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg’s Dominican church in Halle.

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