GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)

The Stefaneschi Triptych: Martyrdom of St Paul

c. 1330
Tempera on panel
Pinacoteca, Vatican

The picture shows the right panel on the side showing Christ. The scene depicts the Martyrdom of St Paul.

Against the golden background an amazingly deep landscape stretches out, representing the place where the apostle Paul was beheaded: on the hill on the right we can recognize the lighthouse of Ostia. Opposite this tower, a maiden is thrown the cloth used to catch the saint's blood by his spirit. In the foreground, we see the executioner in the centre of the picture, separating the group of mourners around the beheaded man on one side, and the retreating soldiers on the other.