5 Items in this Learning Collection

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Elymas the Prophet, Struck with Blindness by St. Paul

Accession Number

Elymas the Prophet, Struck with Blindness by St. Paul

Giorgio Giulio Clovio

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gouache on vellum

7 ⅞ in x 12 1/16 in (20 cm x 30.64 cm);7 ⅞ in x 12 1/16 in (20 cm x 30.64 cm);12 4/5 in x 6 ½ in (32.54 cm x 16.51 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy

Both of these works depict scenes from the life of St. Paul the Apostle. The drawing attributed to Clovio tells the story of the Jewish prophet Elymas who was temporarily struck blind by a cloud of darkness when he opposed Paul before the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus (the story is found in the Christian Bible in the Acts of the Apostles). Pecham’s drawing shows the moment of Paul’s conversion to Christianity (also described in Acts). Paul is on the ground at the center of the composition, where he has fallen o of his rearing horse at the sight of God surrounded by angels.
While Pecham’s work is on paper and has a muted and restricted palette, Clovio’s drawing is on vellum (animal skin prepared for writing), a smooth and translucent support that highlights the delicate and rich quality of the gouache (opaque watercolor paint) colors. Clovio’s composition is inspired by a cartoon (preparatory drawing) for tapestries showing scenes from the lives of Saints Peter and Paul by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael (1483–1520), but the scene is presented in reverse, details have been changed or added, and the colors are more vibrant. Though the work is attributed to Clovio (meaning experts believe it is likely to have been made by him), it may be by a different artist since it differs in many ways from a drawing of the same cartoon that is known to be by Clovio. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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