The Conversion of St Paul by Caravaggio
January 25th is the feast day of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle.
Caravaggio (1571-1610) painted at least two versions of the conversion of St Paul; one is in the Cappella Cerasi, in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, the other is in the Palazzo Odescalchi.
While on the road to Damascus, St Paul (then Saul) was struck to the ground, blinded by a sudden light from heaven. The voice of God said, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?' (Acts 9:4).
According to tradition, Saul was travelling on horseback. He is generally depicted lying on the ground, as if he has just thrown from his horse. He may be wearing Roman armour. Christ appears in the sky, while Saul's attendants run to help him or try to control the rearing horses.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
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