In 2016, the Phoebus Foundation in Belgium undertook a large-scale restoration project focusing on an altarpiece triptych in their collection by Goossen van der Weyden (1455-1543). Dymphna – a legendary sixth or seventh century Irish saint was the daughter of a Celtic king. When Dymphna grew to resemble her mother, her widowed father decided to marry her. To escape his incestuous intentions, Dymphna fled Ireland for Geel in Belgium, with her confessor Gerebernus. Dymphna’s father pursued and killed them, and their bodies were buried on the spot by angels. The Church of St. Dymphna in Geel, consecrated in 1247, still holds relics associated with the saint. The altarpiece featuring scenes from the life of St. Dymphna is the only work of its kind to focus on the life of an Irish saint.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Brendan Rooney and Dr. Lizzie Marx in partnership with The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerp.