The Martyrdom of St. Matthew
on canvas, 127x135 in (323x342 cm)
Chapel, Church of San Luigi Francesi
Legend says that St. Matthew was assassinated while saying mass.
Thus we see an altar (marked by a Greek cross on its front) in the
background of the painting.
As in his "Calling of St. Matthew" on
the opposite wall, Caravaggio shows the moment of near refusal that
precedes acceptance of God's will. An angel leans down from the
top of the painting to hand the saint the palm of martyrdom that we
know he will accept in the next moment, but right now he is furiously
resisting his assassin.
More of Saint Matthew
Photographed at the
site by Richard Stracke