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Saint Paul the Hermit  1638

by Jusepe de Ribera

Paul the Hermit was a 3rd-century Egyptian saint who escaped persecution as a Christian by retreating into the desert, where he lived in continual meditation until he was more than 100 years old. The raven that sustained Paul by bringing him bread each day appears at the upper left. The skull prompted his meditation on the brevity of human life. Ribera was born in Spain bu...
H: 52 1/4 x W: 42 in. (132.7 x 106.7 cm)
oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum