(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)

The Stoning of St Stephen

Fresco, 326 x 236 cm
Cappella Niccolina, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

This scene is the right half the lunette on the east wall. The left half depicts St Stephen being led to his martyrdom.

In this scene he is portrayed at prayer following the description that 'he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.' (Apostles 8, v. 60). Around him are the stones which have bloodied his face; two more bounce off the back of his head; one of his executioners raises another one high, about to strike again, and holds more in his robe. Saul, who was a consenting witness to the execution, is shown, following the details given in the Acts of the Apostles, as a young man holding part of Stephen's clothes which had been laid at his feet by the witnesses.