Fra Angelico
The Conversion of St. Paul

1430
Tempera and gold on parchment
Museo di San Marco, Florence (Missal 558, Folio 21)

This missal page pictures Acts 22:9, where the companions react to the bright light – rather than Acts 9:3-7, where they hear Christ's voice but see no one. Like the passages in Acts but unlike later images, the image has no horses.

Thrown to the ground by the intense flash of light, Saul is told, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." The two letters in Jesus' book refer to Revelation 1:8, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God." He thus reveals himself not only as the recently crucified Jesus but as the living Son of God.

Like many subsequent images, Fra Angelico's gives Saul a sword, which will become the emblem of his martrydom.

More of St. Paul

Source: Web Gallery of Art