These two miniatures representing Saint Anthony Abbot and the Crucifixion are painted on single leaves of parchment that have been cut along the contours of the miniatures. Perhaps intended to function as a pair of independent images, they may have formed a diptych, a small altarpiece in two parts, in a monastery or hospital in Cologne dedicated to Saint Anthony. Alternatively, they may have once been part of a manuscript, perhaps for this same hospital or monastery.
The leaves are the work of the Master of Saint Veronica, one of the most important artists working in Cologne around the year 1400. Throughout the Middle Ages, the city of Cologne on the lower Rhine River was a major artistic center. Cologne's proximity to Dutch and Flemish towns placed it within a nexus of burgeoning artistic creativity, especially in painting and manuscript illumination. The tall, mannered proportions of the figures, the brilliant colors, and the sweet-sad expressions reveal the artist's familiarity with earlier developments of the International style at the royal courts of Paris and Prague.