St Ives' popularity spread throughout Europe, especially in France, Belgium and Italy, as shown by countless statues and paintings, including one by Rubens.

St Ives is sometimes shown alone, holding scrolls or some other sign of his legal calling. His stiff posture and grave face express his incorruptibility and unswerving commitment to justice.  To quote the "chapel art" website,

"St Ives is planted upright in the stiff folds of his habit.  His straightforward face is grave, the chin obstinate, the lips tight.  This completely hieratic [priestly] representation symbolizes unequivocally the virtues of the saint:  his stiffness, the austerity of his appearance, are the guarantees of the firmness of his spirit." 

A modern statue by Michel Le Calvez, described as being a "traditional representation with a purse in the left hand, and a scroll of parchment in the right" - presumably the purse symbolizes the award of damages to the winning party. 

However, more often St Ives is shown between 2 litigants, one poor, one rich. Sometimes he is turning towards the poor man, and away from the rich man's proffered bag of gold.

CIRDoMOC website (International Centre for Research and Documentation on Celtic Monasticism) - the website includes the "St Ives between the rich and the poor man" statuue group from Tréguier Cathedral, and its reproduction on the commemorative stamp for St Ives' 700th anniversary in 2003

Another example, including entries in a children's drawing competition, held to commemorate the 700th anniversary

Stained glass window in the church at Minihy-Tréguier

Other links

Picture from the French illuminated manuscript "the Golden Legend", c. 1470

Painting by Rogier van der Weyden and other artwork

Painting by Peter Paul Rubens

Statue on the Charles Bridge in Prague

Statues in Tréguier Cathedral

St Ives medal




Main Menu

Subscribe to Newsletter