(b. 1472, Venezia, d. 1526, Capodistria)

The Calling of Matthew

Tempera on canvas, 141 x 115 cm
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice

There are also two paintings in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni that are not part of the cycle, the Agony in the Garden and the Calling of Matthew, dated 1502.

The Calling of Matthew is much closer to the last episodes of the St Ursula cycle than Agony in the Garden, especially in the precise construction of the colour planes within a composition that is almost exactly similar to that of Giovan Battista Cima's Miracle of St Mark, a work painted around 1499 and now in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. The scene is not set in Capharnaum, but on the Venetian mainland, as we can see from the style of the gate and the buildings around the square, where Matthew, responding to the calling of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, abandons his post as tax-collector (the receipts attached to his worktable indicate that that was indeed his job). Notice the typical wooden parasols placed so as to keep the sunlight off the worktop.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (excerpts)