Decapitation of Hermagoras and Fortunatus
Decapitazione di Ermagora e Fortunato, presso la Cripta degli Affreschi nella Basilica di Aquileia. Foto di © Gianluca Baronchelli
Another episode told in the Crypt of the frescoes of the Basilica of Aquileia concerns the earthly life of the proto-bishop Hermagoras and his inseparable deacon Fortunatus.
This story ends with the beheading of both, persecuted for their Christian faith. The scene of the killing of Hermagoras by a soldier, while Fortunatus watches the execution terrified, is rendered with raw realism. A gush of blood comes out of the severed neck, while the saint's head is now far from his body.