Santo Peranda (1566-1638), The Martyrdom of St. Stephen

Church of San Stefano, Venice, Italy

The canvas is done in Peranda's usual grand style, full of energy yet carefully composed to balance the half-circle of light enclosing the heavenly figures and the luminous triangle described by the Father, Son, and Stephen, who wears a dalmatic such as would be worn by deacons of the artist's time.

The figure to the right of Stephen may be Saul, the future Apostle Paul. He is holding someone's cloak, as Saul did at the execution of Stephen in Acts 7:59, and he has Paul's familiar pointy beard. Significantly, his back is turned to the light.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.