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Lot: 36
17th C. Spanish School. St Bartholomew

"San Bartolome". Oil on canvas.

Work traditionally attributed to Juan de Valdés Leal.

The iconography that we see here is closely related to a model of great development in the sculptural representation of the saint since the 17th century, despite the fact that it is not uncommon to see it in paint. He holds in his right hand the speaking symbol of his martyrdom: the knife with which he was skinned alive. In his left hand the sacred scriptures and a chain that extends until it is lost in the lower part of the work and that would find a shackle clinging to the neck of Astaroth, a demon of which we can only see the tail peeking out of the lower left corner. . Astaroth, a corrupt angel punished by God for revealing himself against his power, was, according to the Golden Legend of Santiago de la Vorágine, defeated by Saint Bartholomew during the apostle''s preaching in Armenia.

The work could have been part of an apostolate, sets of thirteen paintings (of the twelve apostles and Christ, in the center), which were so in vogue during the 17th century and after the Council of Trent. We know apostolates of El Greco, Velázquez, Rubens, Ribera, or Salmerón preserved in the Prado. 152 x 119cm

San Bartolome
152 x 119cm
Painting technique

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