Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flayin' Alive

Statue of St. Bartholomew with the skin, which was flayed from his body while he was still alive, slung about himself like a mink stole.

This creepy statue by Marco d'Agrate (1562) sits in the Duomo di Milano, a cathedral in Milan, Italy.

Bartholomew (sometimes referred to as Nathanael) was a friend of the Apostle Philip and is counted among the Apostles in both the gospels and pseudepigraphical literature as well. There are three separate accounts of his martyrdom and how exactly he died. some say he was tossed into the sea and others that he was crucified upside down. For obvious, dramatic reasons artists enjoy the story in which he is skinned alive and then beheaded in Albanopolis near Baskale, Turkey.

An equally gruesome depiction by Michaelangelo can be seen in the Sistine Chapel, which I also saw, but they don't allow photographs.

No comments: