N° 3 – The Martyrdom of St. Matthew – Rome, October 2004

There is so much going on in this painting that sometimes it's hard to take it all in. According to tradition, in later life, St. Matthew was a priest in Ethiopia. When the king of that land decided to force his own niece to marry him (she was a Christian nun to boot), St. Matthew tried to prevent it. The enraged king sent a soldier to execute Matthew for this offence.

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N° 2 – St. Matthew and the Angel – Rome, October 2004

This is one of my absolute favorites. Probably in my top ten, if not top five. (Not surprisingly, it's part of my podcast, The BitterSweet Life's logo. St. Matthew and the Angel continues the story that began with The Calling. The Contarelli Chapel, where these two and another painting about the life of St. Matthew reside, was commissioned by a French cardinal whose first name was Matthieu who loved the idea of glorifying his namesake.

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