Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

St Matthias

oil on panel (108 × 84 cm) — c. 1611 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Acts 1:23

After Judas' departure the apostles felt they should be twelve again. There were two candidates: a Joseph and a certain Matthias. Lots were cast and Matthias it was.

The axe in his hand refers to his death. According to an unconfirmed story Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded, in Jerusalem.

This panel belongs to a series of portraits Rubens made of the apostles.

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