This image was originally by Andrea Mantegna, who was court artist to the Gonzaga family in Mantua for forty-six years, shows Saint Andrew cleverly stepping into our space, and features Mantua's most revered saints. Supposedly Saint Longinus carried two relics to the city: some earth on which Christ's blood fell while he was crucified, and the sponge soaked with sour wine that was offered to him to drink. Longinus buried the relics before being martyred in a.d. 35, and it was only thanks to a vision of Saint Andrew that Mantuans later knew where to find them. In 1472 the city began building a basilica on that spot to house the relics.
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