St. Paul's Conversion, by Caravaggio

by Isabella Childs January 06, 2021

Saul stunned by heaven

    This is a depiction of Saint Paul’s conversion, by the Baroque master, Caravaggio.

    The painting is mostly dark, with various shades of brown.

    Paul lies in the foreground of the painting. He is mostly naked, wearing only part of a Roman soldier’s apparel around his waist and a strap across his abdomen. A red cloak is beneath him and a bronze helmet lies on the ground near his right side. Paul has white skin and a long brown beard. His face is turned upwards, but he covers it completely with both hands.

    Paul’s face is turned towards two figures looking down at him from the air in the upper right corner of the painting. These two figures consist of an angel and a man. The man has dark hair and a beard. He wears a light purple robe. The man reaches down to Paul with both of his arms. The angel is depicted as a young boy. Only the angel’s head and right arm are visible. The angel has his arm wrapped across the man’s chest.

    A soldier with white hair and a frown on his face stands behind Paul on the left side of the painting. This soldier looks to his left at the man and the angel in the air, holding up a round green shield with his left arm, as if to defend Paul from the two. The soldier holds a spear with his right hand. The spear is planted on the ground at the soldier’s right side and slants upwards and to the soldier’s left side towards the heavenly figures.

    A white horse stands behind the soldier, with its body turned away from the soldier and its head turned towards the heavenly figures on the right side of the painting.

    Download this quality, restored image here.

Isabella Childs
Isabella Childs


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