The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen

by Isabella Childs December 30, 2020

stoning of martyr

     In this painting of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the saint kneels at the left side of the image while evil men raise stones above his head.


     This artwork by Juanes depicts the martyrdom of the Church's first martyr, Saint Stephen.

    St. Stephen kneels on the rocky ground. He is depicted as a young man with white skin, light brown hair, and a beard. The saint, dressed as a deacon, wears a white robe with a turquoise and gold chasuble. St. Stephen folds his hands, pressing his fingertips together. His arms are raised. His face is also raised in earnest prayer. There is a yellow, oval halo behind the saint’s head.


     Several half-dressed men stone St. Stephen. One of the men wears a red cloth, which hangs from the man’s shoulder and is wrapped around his body. The man has dark hair and dark eyes. He looks down at St. Stephen with a hideous expression on his face while raising a large stone above his head with both hands. Another man, wearing a yellow cloth about his body, stands beside the man wearing a red cloth. This man looks down at St. Stephen while raising a stone with his right hand. In front of the two men raising stones, a man stoops to pick up a stone. The faces of two other men looking on are visible.


     In the background of the painting, a man stoops to gather stones. Behind the man gathering stones, Saul of Tarsus, the future Saint Paul, observes the stoning. Three cloaks are spread in the grass in front of Saul. One cloak is red, one is yellow, and one is blue. There is a castle behind Saul, on the right side of the painting. In the background, on the left side of the painting, are distant buildings and mountains.

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Isabella Childs
Isabella Childs

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