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Master of the Pala Sforzesca, Saint Paul

Key facts
Full title Saint Paul
Artist Master of the Pala Sforzesca
Artist dates active about 1490 - about 1500
Date made about 1490-5
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 23.6 × 13.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Henry Wagner, 1924
Inventory number NG3899
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Saint Paul
Master of the Pala Sforzesca

A bearded saint stands in a scalloped niche in this small painting. This is Saint Paul, the so-called Apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews), holding his usual emblems of a book and a sword. Paul was a Jewish convert to Christianity. He was originally hostile to the new faith but experienced a dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus and went on to become a missionary.

Once part of a larger altarpiece, this picture was painted in Milan in the late fifteenth century. Another panel probably from the same altarpiece is now in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. We don't know who the artist was but he was one of a group of painters who were strongly influenced by Leonardo da Vinci.

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