(active 1496-1530 in Venice)

Call of the Sons of Zebedee

Panel, 386 x 268 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

This painting from the high altar of the now demolished Carthusian church of Sant'Andrea della Certosa in Venice is noteworthy for its grandiose composition and warm, luminous colours.

Zebedee was a Hebrew fisherman, the husband of Salome, and the father of James and John, two of the Apostles of Jesus. The call of the new apostles is a metaphor for the monastic vocation, a voluntary spiritual incarceration that is also a paradise of peace and contemplation, at least for the Carthusians. The remarkable broad landscape is nonetheless hemmed in by walls and rocks. there are many fishers, of souls and other catches.