St Paul in Art

Paul has captured the imagination of many artists over the centuries.

Paul has captured the imagination of many artists over the centuries. El Greco, Raphael, Theophanes the Greek,Andrei Rublev, Massacio, Rembrandt and others have immortalized the man. El Greco puts Peter and Paul, the two pillars of the Church, side-byside, depicting Peter as soft and subdued, but Paul as intense and focused. Raphael’s Paul is preaching in Athens, his hands raised in emotion, his hearers lost in thought. Rembrandt painted several studies of Paul, one of them a self-portrait as the biblical character. Perhaps his best-known is ‘The Apostle Paul in Prison,’ where he is seated on a bed, deep in thought, presumably composing one of his captivity epistles. Incongruously, the artist added a sword to the scene, undoubtedly a foreshadowing of Paul’s beheading. 

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