The Exquisite Pain of the Flayed Saint

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Bartholomew (Greek: Βαρθολομαῖος) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified with Nathanael.

He is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward.

The account of Bartholomew being skinned alive is the most represented in works of art, and consequently Bartholomew is often shown with a large knife, holding his own skin (as in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment), or both. Bartholomew is also the patron saint of tanners.

Well, that’s a good display of macabre sense of humor – “patron saint of tanners” for a guy holding his own flayed skin. Heh.

Image is a statue from 1562 by Italian sculptor Marco d’Agrate. Sculpture currently resides at the Milan Cathedral

Via Wikipedia.

This entry was posted in Culture, History, Visual Art by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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