Master of St. Bartholomew
The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew

Circa 1264-90
Detail from a fresco
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara, Italy

In the damaged left panel we see only the hand of St. Bartholomew as he baptizes King Polemius, the Queen, and a man and woman who represent the populace baptized with the king. In the earliest times adults were baptized naked and then given the white garment pictured at right. Like a great many baptismal fonts, this one has eight sides to signify the "eighth day," the Sunday of the new week when Christ was resurrected.

The other two panels present the two traditions regarding the manner of Bartholomew's death. In one he was flayed; in the other, beheaded.

The king in the central panel is Astarges, the brother of Polemius who overthrew him and ordered Bartholomew's execution.

The entire fresco:


The entire fresco in full resolution
More of St. Bartholomew

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