Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stephen in the Synagogue (c. 1562)

Stephen in the Synagogue (c. 1562)
Juan de Juanes 1523 – 1579
oil on panel (160 × 123 cm) — c. 1562
Acts 6:9 - Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
Stephen was a deacon, an active member of Jerusalem's first christian community. Here he discusses with men who just left the synagogue. Their gestures show a fierce argument. In the end they decide that Stephen's words are blasphemous. They take him to the High Court.

The obelisk in the background is the one that stands in St. Peter's Square in Rome since 1586. But earlier it was in Nero's Circus, a place where many Christians were killed. In this painting it therefor probably refers to Stephen's imminent martyrdom.

Part of a series on the martyrdom of St. Stephen that Juan de Juanes made for the church of San Esteban (=Stephen) in Valencia.

  • The ordination of Stephen
  • Stephen in the synagogue
  • Stephen accuses the High Council
  • Stephen is expelled from the city
  • The stoning of Stephen
  • The burial of Stephen
>>>> Stephen

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