Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

St Simon

oil on panel (108 × 83 cm) — c. 1611 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Mark 3:18

Around 1612 Rubens made a series of portraits of the apostles, in commission of the duke of Lerma. All are identified by an attribute. Simon holds a saw in his left hand. According to a tradition he was put to death with a saw.

The Bible doesn't say much about this Simon. He is only mentioned in lists of all apostles. To distinguish him from Peter, who was also called Simon, this Simon was called Simon the Zealot or Simon Kananaios.

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