This painting is part of the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

This panel showing Saint Stephen is part of the large 'Demidoff Altarpiece' made for the high altar of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno, east central Italy.

Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He was a deacon (a lay assistant to the priest) of the first Christian community in 1st-century Palestine and was responsible for a daily distribution of food to the poor.

Accused of blasphemy against Moses and God, Stephen was brought to trial. Although not a priest, Stephen was well read in the Scriptures and argued against the religious council. As he spoke in defence of his belief in Christ as the Messiah, those watching him saw the face of an angel. Enraged, the council stopped the trial and took him out of the city where he was stoned to death.

In paintings he is shown in a deacon's robe and with the rocks used to stone him. His other identifying attributes are a palm (signifying martyrdom) and a book (a reminder of his learnedness).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1430/5 - about 1494
Full title
Saint Stephen
Group
Date made
1476
Medium and support
Tempera on poplar
Dimensions
61 x 40 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1868
Inventory number
NG788.8
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, 'The Virgin and Child'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, Saint John the Baptist
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, 'Saint Peter'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Dominic'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Francis'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Andrew'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Thomas Aquinas'