The Life of St. Paul: The Exorcism of the Slave Girl

Circa 1857-60
Oil on canvas
Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

This is from a series of paintings by various artists that line the nave and transept of the basilica.

Acts 16:16-18 tells of a slave girl who was possessed by an "oracular spirit." Her owners were making a large profit from her fortune-telling. But Paul commanded the spirit to leave the girl. In the painting it leaves in the form of a snake with the head of a woman. The woman has the same hair style as the slave girl.

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View the page that links to the other paintings in the series.
Read more about St. Paul.

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