© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Saint James is portrayed in a tempera painting, dated to about 1275, by the artist known as the Master of Saint Francis. Christian art often confused James the son of Zebedee, James the son of Alphaeus (both apostles) and James the brother of Jesus. The figure shown here is clearly the latter because he holds the fuller’s club that, according to Christian tradition, was used to take the life of James the brother of Jesus. But James had never been attested archaeologically until his burial box, or ossuary, was found, inscribed not only with his name, but that of his father, Joseph, and his brother, Jesus.