• Sts Paul and Barnabas in Lystra

    Artist:
    Jordaens, Jacob. 1593-1678
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    149x253 cm

Jordaens, Jacob. 1593-1678

Sts Paul and Barnabas in Lystra

Flanders, circa 1616

The Acts of the Apostles tells us that Saints Paul and Barnabas came to preach Christianity in the pagan city of Lystra in Asia Minor. The local population mistook them for the pagan gods Hermes and Zeus and began preparing a sacrifice in their honour. The painting shows the moment when the apostles rejected this proposal. This work is the earliest known version of a subject that Jordaens turned to particularly frequently from the second half of the 1640s onwards. Scholars usually connect the artist’s interest in it with his conversion to Calvinism under the influence of his Protestant father in law. However, in contrast to the versions of considerably later date, in this early painting there is nothing that might be taken as an expression of any sort of sympathy for Calvinist ideas. And the subject itself was one frequently used by Catholic artists.

Title:

Sts Paul and Barnabas in Lystra

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

149x253 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1769; acquired from the Heinrich von Brühl collection, Dresden

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-491

Category:

Collection: