Ambrosius Francken
Paul and Barnabas of Cyprus Chosen as Apostles by the Holy Spirit

17th century
Oil on panel, 100.5 × 45.9 in. (255.2 × 116.5 cm.)
Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

The painting portrays Acts 13:1-4: "Now there were in the church which was at Antioch, prophets and doctors…. And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia: and from thence they sailed to Cyprus."

St. Paul is probably the person in the foreground with the pointy beard. The man in red behind him holds a book, which is an attribute of St. Barnabas, who is identified as a Cypriot in Acts 4:36.

In the background a priest in a contemporary chasuble celebrates Mass, extending his arms over the chalice as a priest would do at the consecration of the elements of bread and wine. This Eucharistic allusion may be the artist's take on Acts 3:2, "they were ministering to the Lord." The artist may also be using the priest and altar to suggest a parallel between the sacrifice of Christ as remembered in the Mass and the calling of Paul and Barnabas to a consecrated life that will end in their own sacrificial deaths.

The text in the lower right corner of the painting is the Latin of Acts 13:2.

Read more about images of St. Paul and St. Barnabas.

Source: this page at Wikimedia Commons.