Juan de Juanes 1523 – 1579

Stephen in the Synagogue

oil on panel (160 × 123 cm) — c. 1562 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

This work is linked to Acts 6:9

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Tags: Stephen

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Stephen was a deacon, an active member of Jerusalem's first christian community. Here he discusses with men who just left the synagogue. Their gestures show a fierce argument. In the end they decide that Stephen's words are blasphemous. They take him to the High Court.

The obelisk in the background is the one that stands in St. Peter's Square in Rome since 1586. But earlier it was in Nero's Circus, a place where many Christians were killed. In this painting it therefor probably refers to Stephen's imminent martyrdom.

Part of a series on the martyrdom of St. Stephen that Juan de Juanes made for the church of San Esteban (=Stephen) in Valencia.

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