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Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

The apostle Bartholomew was brutally martyred by being skinned alive. Valentin’s debt to the detailed hyperrealism found in Cecco del Caravaggio’s paintings was motivated by his desire to elicit an upsettingly emotional response to this grisly event. Knowledgeable contemporaries would have admired the way Valentin individualized the contrasting tasks of the executioners to create an effect of variety as well as the impression of an ongoing activity. But it is the graphic realism that impresses most.

Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

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