Timken Museum of Art
In the latter part of his career, Rembrandt undertook psychologically penetrating portraits of saints and apostles, perhaps as an artistic investigation of spirituality. This animated portrayal is one of the largest of a group that includes another introspective version of Saint Bartholomew (no. 7). Here the dynamic pose of the apostle who preached the Gospel in Asia attests to the physicality of his personality and the zeal of his mission. In contrast to his assertive pose, he holds a knife, the instrument of his martyrdom, with relaxed ease. The broad, descriptive strokes of his hand and cuff stand out against his roughly indicated cloak. Textured brushwork in the face, in which the dark undertones play an important role in modeling, contributes to the lively effect.
Saint Bartholomew, 1657. Oil on canvas, 48 3/8 x 39 1/4 in. (122.7 x 99.7 cm). Putnam Foundation, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, 1952:001