Caravaggio 1573 – 1610
The Crucifixion of St Andrew
oil on canvas (202 × 152 cm) — c. 1606 Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
This work is linked to John 1:40
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The apostle Andrew was the brother of Peter and one of Jesus' most loyal followers. A legend has it that he too died on the cross, in the Greek city of Patras. To prolong the dying, the local proconsul had him tied to the cross, not nailed. Andrew grapsed his chance to continue preaching. After two days, the growing multitude demanded that he be taken down; otherwise, they would revolt.
The painting shows the moment that the executioner tries to untie the ropes that hold Andrew. The apostle prayes that he may die in the same way as his master did. Divine intervention makes his wish come true. The impatient man in black armor is the proconsul, Aegeas.
Caravaggio painted this work in 1610, shortly before his own death. It was made for St Andrew's cathedral of Amalfi, close to Naples, where the painter lived at the time.
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