The conversion of St. Paul - Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert - 1630 - 1645

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The conversion of St. Paul

Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert (graveur)
Peter Paul Rubens (naar)
Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert (publisher)
1630 - 1645
603.0 mm x 449.0 mm
Inventory number: 
Museum Plantin-Moretus/ Print Room
17th century Saints

Saul was a persecutor of the Jews who converted and as Paul became the ‘apostle of pagans’. When he was travelling to Damascus, he had a vision. The mental image he perceived made himself known with the words: ‘I am Jesus who you are persecuting’. Paul fell from his horse and lost his sight for several days as the result of the vision. Prancing horses that throw off their horsemen were a recurring theme for Rubens. For the depiction Rubens was inspired by Italian masters such as Caravaggio. As for composition and in details like the horse we see strong relationships with other works by Rubens. Rubens painted at least three works with this theme. This print was based on the last version, namely a painting that used to be in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin (Germany), but was lost in a fire in 1945. As was frequently the case, the engraving was dedicated to a personality, in this case Antoon Triest, Bishop of Gent (Belgium). The work is an example of perfect mastery.