Paul, by Caravaggio

The Conversion of Saint Paul (I don’t know why it is called “Conversion on the Way to Damascus” in English, that is the theme, but not the name of the painting), by Caravaggio. In this version (he had two very  different versions, as far as I know, and this one is the last one), Caravaggio follows an earlier painting by Alessandro Bonvicino, but adds his own incredible twist, of course. Caravaggio’s typical dark atmosphere is there, and the angle of the painting is remarkable. We can see Paul as a young Roman official on his way to persecuting Christians, just  fallen to the ground after seeing a blinding divine light. The painting beautifully demonstrates that, keeping the painting dark except for that ray of light that goes straight to Paul. We can see him with his eyes closed, but receiving the message with his arms wide open

Afterwards, Paul proceeded to write that Billboard Hit that is the Epistle to the Corinthians:

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13; American Standard Version)


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