Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Saint Bartholomew

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

Not on view

In the 1650s and 1660s, Rembrandt undertook numerous depictions of the apostles that are notable for their psychological intensity and painterly style. Sober and inward-looking, these representations may have been influenced by both the artist’s personal difficulties and his interest in the teachings of certain religious groups, such as the Mennonites.
Bartholomew is mentioned only briefly in the Gospels, but his life as described in the medieval Golden Legend culminates in martyrdom by flaying. Rembrandt shows him almost casually holding the knife that would torture him. The artist used a method in which the brownish tonal underlayer remains visible in many areas of the canvas. One of his students wrote about Rembrandt’s unusual, abbreviated technique, saying it was a way of leaving alone things that were "fortuitously apt when first laid in." The sentiment echoes the Roman author Pliny’s praise of artists who knew when to take their hand from a picture.

Saint Bartholomew, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.