The Exhumation of Saint Hubert

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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We are looking at the east end of a Gothic church, where the body of a bishop is being exhumed from his tomb in front of the high altar. This is Saint Hubert, Bishop of Maastricht and Liège, who died in 727. He is being moved from Liège to the newly founded abbey of Saint-Hubert-en-Ardenne, in 825. Although he has been dead 98 years, his body is in perfect condition – proof of his sainthood.

This is one of two surviving panels from a series of the life of Saint Hubert, painted for the chapel of Saint Hubert in the church of Saint Gudula in Brussels (now the cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula). It was probably commissioned when the chapel was founded in the 1430s and includes portraits of the founders and their family members in the crowd clustered around the grave.

The National Gallery, London



The Exhumation of Saint Hubert


late 1430s


Oil with egg tempera on oak


H 88.2 x W 81.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1868

Work type



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