José Bernardo de la Meana
St. Bartholomew

Circa 1753-62
Ambulatory, Cathedral of St. Savior

It is possible that the right hand once held one end of the chain on which the demon is tugging as he writhes under the saint's feet. The demon, a reference to "Astaruth" whom St. Bartholomew bound in India, is a secondary attribute seen in many images of the saint.

The flaying of Bartholomew is pictured in the bottom register. The church-like building in the background does not resemble the cathedral itself. It may represent the pagan temple that Bartholomew exorcised. Its towers are topped with golden globes rather than Christian crosses. (See the detail below.)

For the most part medieval images of Bartholomew give him the curly hair mentioned in the Golden Legend, but in this statue he is quite bald.

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More of St. Bartholomew

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

Detail of the flaying scene:
Detail of the demon: