The typical image of Saint Paul—with a long face, receding hairline, and pointed beard—was established during the first centuries of the Christian church. Here Paul holds a book, an appropriate symbol for the author of many of the texts of the New Testament. This plaque and the one showing Saint Peter under a similar arch may have flanked a lost central panel depicting Christ, as parts of an icon, or religious devotional image.
Found near Antioch, Syria, ca. 1908–10; [ Kouchakji Frères, Paris and New York (by 1913)]; [ Fahim Joseph Kouchakji, New York (sold 1950)]
Toronto. Aga Khan Museum. "Syria: An Unbroken History," October 15, 2016–February 26, 2017.
The Dark Ages: Loan Exhibition of Pagan and Christian Art in the Latin West and Byzantine East. Worcester, Mass.: Worcester Art Museum, 1937. no. 83, p. 36.
Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. no. 554, pp. 618-619.
Frazer, Margaret English. "Medieval Church Treasuries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 43, no. 3 (Winter 1985-1986). p. 16, fig. 9.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 18, p. 31.
Kondoleon, Christine. Antioch: The Lost Ancient City. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000. no. 99, p. 212.
Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). p. 22.
Syria: A Living History. Aga Khan Museum, 2016. p. 42.