Saint Paul (Bull Sacrifice in Lystra)

Szymon Czechowicz

  • Saint Paul (Bull Sacrifice in Lystra) 2
  • Saint Paul (Bull Sacrifice in Lystra) 3
Basic information
Szymon Czechowicz
Saint Paul (Bull Sacrifice in Lystra)
Date of creation
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
91 x 116
Information about author
Szymon Czechowicz
Artist's lifetime
Szymon Czechowicz was born in an impoverished noble family in Krakow on July 28, 1689. He became an orphan at a young age. Thanks to the support of his patron and philanthropist Franciszek Ossolinski, the artist went to Rome, where he studied painting at the Academy of St. Luke under the guidance of Carlo Maratti. The first professional works of the artist were copies after famous painters, such as Rubens, Van Dyck and others; the artist drew upon their iconographic compositions. In 1765, at the invitation of Waclaw Rzewuski, he arrived at Pidhirtsi Castle in the Lviv region; by 1767, Czechowicz created 107 works that became part of the castle interior and a kind of the first museum of the artist. During the last period of his life, Szymon Czechowicz worked in Lithuania and Warsaw, where he opened his own art studio. The artist died on July 21, 1775. He was considered to be one of the best artists of the Baroque era in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Among the artist's creative legacy there are portraits and monumental paintings on sacred themes.
Object description
This is a multi-figure composition, in the right part of which there is the figure of the Holy Apostle Paul in red clothes; the apostle Barnabas dressed in blue clothes is behind him. In the foreground there is a pagan altar in the form of a low column, near which there is a figure of a man raising an ax over the bull's head. To his right, there is a figure of a man holding an animal by the neck. The image of a crowd worshiping the apostles is on the left. The landscape with elements of ancient columns with the figure of the god Mars depicted on them serves as a background of the painting.