UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active in the 1270s in Rome)
Beheading of St Paul (south wall, right)1278-79
Sancta Sanctorum, Lateran Palace, Rome
On the south wall, in the Crucifixion of St Peter and the Beheading of St Paul, the foreground of each picture is reserved for its respective martyr. Each is, moreover, clearly larger than the figures of the mourners and the executioner. The background in the scene with the beheading of St Paul consists of a mountain landscape composed of individual clearly outlines rock formations. Before it stand the executioner and the Roman centurion, whose gesture is clearly intended for Paul's two companions. A church building flanked by two towers - meant to represent the basilica of San Paolo - looms directly behind the elevation on the right.