Luca Signorelli, The Conversion of St. Paul

1477-82
Fresco, 93.7 x 78.7 in. (238 x 200 cm.)
Basilica of Santa Casa, Loreto, Italy

Thrown onto the ground by the intensity of the light, a youthful Saul (missing the usual receding hairline and pointy beard) hears the voice of Christ saying, "I am Jesus the Nazorean." The fresco follows Acts 22:6-9, where the companions react to the light but are not affected as Saul is by the words Jesus speaks. In a different account of the event, Acts 9:7 says the companions heard the voice but could see no one.

Like many images of this century and later, Saul is pictured with a sword, the emblem of his martyrdom.

Unlike other images in the later 15th century, this one continues to present Paul and his companions as pedestrians, not men on horseback. There are no horses in the passages from Acts.

More of St. Paul

Source: Web Gallery of Art via Wikimedia Commons