Matthew the Apostle

Matthew the Apostle (Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּMattityahu or מתי Matt, متى Arabic "Gift of YHVH"; Greek: Μαθθαῖος, romanizedMaththaîos; Coptic: ⲙⲁⲧⲑⲉⲟⲥ; also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi) was, according to the Christian Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists.

Saint Matthew the Apostle
Saint Matthew and the Angel by Guido Reni
Apostle, Evangelist, and Martyr
Born1st century AD
Died1st century AD
near Hierapolis or Ethiopia, relics in Salerno, Italy
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Oriental Orthodoxy
Church of the East
Anglican Communion
Major shrinerelics in Salerno, Italy
Feast21 September (Western Christianity)
22 October (Coptic Orthodox)
16 November (Eastern Christianity)
PatronageAccountants; Salerno, Italy; bankers; tax collectors; perfumers; civil servants[2]

In the New Testament

Bodleian Library MS. Arm. d.13. Armenian Gospels-0039-0
Matthew in a painted miniature from a volume of Armenian Gospels dated 1609, held by the Bodleian Library

Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican (KJV) or tax collector (NIV) who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus.[3] He is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus' calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve.

Early life

Levi was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alphaeus.[4] [Notes 1] As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek.[5][6][7][8] His fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force.[9]

After his call, Matthew invited Jesus home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)


The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room (Acts 1:10–14)[10] (traditionally the Cenacle) in Jerusalem.[4] The disciples remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

In the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) "Mattai" is one of five disciples of "Jeshu".[11]

Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are.[4] The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr,[12][13] although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century.[6]

Matthew's Gospel

Rembrandt - Evangelist Matthew and the Angel - WGA19119
Saint Matthew and the Angel (1661) by Rembrandt.

The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription "according to Matthew" was added some time in the second century.[14][15] The tradition that the author was the disciple Matthew begins with the early Christian bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c. 100–140 CE), who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (260–340 CE), as follows: "Matthew collected the oracles (logia: sayings of or about Jesus) in the Hebrew language (Hebraïdi dialektōi), and each one interpreted (hērmēneusen – perhaps "translated") them as best he could."[16][Notes 2]

On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew's Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew's Greek "reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation".[17][14] Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other our Greek version; or perhaps the logia was a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language.[16] The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not in Aramaic or Hebrew.[18]

Non-canonical or Apocryphal Gospels

Matthaeus San Giovanni in Laterano 2006-09-07
Saint Matthew (1713–15) by Camillo Rusconi, Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome

In the 3rd-century Jewish–Christian gospels attributed to Matthew were used by Jewish–Christian groups such as the Nazarenes and Ebionites. Fragments of these gospels survive in quotations by Jerome, Epiphanius and others. Most academic study follows the distinction of Gospel of the Nazarenes (26 fragments), Gospel of the Ebionites (7 fragments), and Gospel of the Hebrews (7 fragments) found in Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha. Critical commentators generally regard these texts as having been composed in Greek and related to Greek Matthew.[19] A minority of commentators consider them to be fragments of a lost Aramaic or Hebrew language original.

The Infancy Gospel of Matthew is a 7th-century compilation of three other texts: the Protevangelium of James, the Flight into Egypt, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Origen said the first Gospel was written by Matthew.[20] This Gospel was composed in Hebrew near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians and translated into Greek, but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was kept at the Library of Caesarea. The Nazarene Community transcribed a copy for Jerome[21] which he used in his work.[22] Matthew's Gospel was called the Gospel according to the Hebrews[23] or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles[24] and it was once believed that it was the original to the Greek Matthew found in the Bible.[25] However, this has been challenged by modern biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman and James R. Edwards.[26][27][28]

Jerome relates that Matthew was supposed by the Nazarenes to have composed their Gospel of the Hebrews[29] though Irenaeus and Epiphanius of Salamis consider this simply a revised version canonical Gospel. This Gospel has been partially preserved in the writings of the Church Fathers, said to have been written by Matthew.[27] Epiphanius does not make his own the claim about a Gospel of the Hebrews written by Matthew, a claim that he merely attributes to the heretical Ebionites.[28]


Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran[30] and Anglican churches. (See St. Matthew's Church.) His feast day is celebrated on 21 September in the West and 16 November in the East. (For those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 16 November currently falls on 29 November of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated by the Orthodox, together with the other Apostles, on 30 June (13 July), the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles. His tomb is located in the crypt of Salerno Cathedral in southern Italy.

Like the other evangelists, Matthew is often depicted in Christian art with one of the four living creatures of Revelation 4:7. The one that accompanies him is in the form of a winged man. The three paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where he is depicted as called by Christ from his profession as tax gatherer, are among the landmarks of Western art.

In Islam

The Quran speaks of Jesus' disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the work of God".[31] Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, name them and include Matthew amongst the disciples.[32] Muslim exegesis preserves the tradition that Matthew, with Andrew, were the two disciples who went to Ethiopia (not the African country, but a region called 'Ethiopia' south of the Caspian Sea) to preach the message of God.


St. Mathew - Sacred Heart Church, Puducherry

Base of a pillar at Sacred Heart Church, Puducherry, India

Stained glass depiction of Saint Matthew at St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Giuseppe Bernardi-Matthew-BMA

A terracotta sculptural model, Giuseppe Bernardi

Salerno 2013-05-17 10-47-55

The Crypt at Salerno Cathedral


St. Matthew writing the Gospel with an angel holding the volume., an Islamic miniature c.1530 by Kesu Das for the Mughal king

See also


  1. ^ however much the Gospels may call Levi (Matthew), the son of Alphaeus, There is no mention in any Gospel or Letter that Matthew is the brother of James Minor, so it is possible that Matthew's father was a different Alphaeus, that by coincidence had the same name
  2. ^ Eusebius, "History of the Church" 3.39.14–17, c. 325 CE, Greek text 16: "ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἱστόρηται τῷ Παπίᾳ περὶ τοῦ Μάρκου· περὶ δὲ τοῦ Ματθαῖου ταῦτ’ εἴρηται· Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ’ αὐτὰ ὡς ἧν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος. Various English translations published, standard reference translation by Philip Schaff at CCEL: "[C]oncerning Matthew he [Papias] writes as follows: 'So then(963) Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.'(964)" Online version includes footnotes 963 and 964 by Schaff.
    Irenaeus of Lyons (died c. 202 CE) makes a similar comment, possibly also drawing on Papias, in his Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 1, "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect" (see Dwight Jeffrey Bingham (1998), Irenaeus' Use of Matthew's Gospel in Adversus Haereses, Peeters, p. 64 ff).


  1. ^  Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Matthew" . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
  2. ^ "Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Washington, D.C". 21 September 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  3. ^ Matthew 9:9 Mark 2:15–17 Luke 5:29
  4. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Matthew" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Werner G. Marx, Money Matters in Matthew, Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 (April–June 1979):148- 57
  6. ^ a b James Orr, ed. (1915). "The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Matthew". Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  7. ^ Catherine Hezser (2001), Jewish Literacy in Roman Palestine, Mohr Siebeck, p. 172, ISBN 978-3161475467, retrieved 10 September 2014, Even if they were pious and able to read the Hebrew Bible and/or literate in Greek poetry and prose, the writing they had to do in every day life ... 24 For the evidence of tax receipts amongst the Judaean Desert papyri see section II.
    • The Cambridge history of Judaism: 2 p192 ed. William David Davies, Louis Finkelstein "We are now touching upon that milieu in which Greek language and civilization were readily accepted in order to ... A great number of tax receipts on ostraca mainly from the 2nd century BCE show how Jews, Egyptians and Greeks.. "
  8. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "Encyclopædia Britannica: Saint Matthew the Evangelist". Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Saint Matthew". 21 September 2016.
  10. ^ Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, 2001 pp. 130-133, 201
  11. ^ Wilhelm Schneemelcher New Testament Apocrypha: Writings Relating to the Apostles revised edition translated R. McL. Wilson – 2003 Page 17 "in the Babylonian Talmud five disciples of Jesus are mentioned by name: 'Matthai, Nagai, Nezer, Buni, Thoda' (Sanhedrin 43a)."
  12. ^ Nathaniel Lardner, Andrew Kippis (1838), "Eusebius, Church History 3.24.6", The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, Volume 5, W. Ball, p. 299, retrieved 22 February 2010CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  13. ^ Darrell L. Bock – Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods – Page 164 2002 "The early church tradition is consistent in claiming that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew for the Jews (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1.1)."
  14. ^ a b Harrington 1991, p. 8.
  15. ^ Nolland 2005, p. 16.
  16. ^ a b Turner 2008, p. 15–16.
  17. ^ Hagner 1986, p. 281.
  18. ^ Ehrman 1999, p. 43.
  19. ^ Vielhauer NTA1
  20. ^ Edwards, James R. (2009). The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 978-0802862341.
  21. ^ Edward Williams B. Nicholson, ed. (1979). The Gospel according to the Hebrews, its fragments tr. and annotated, with a critical analysis of the evidence relating to it, by E. B. Nicholson. [With] Corrections and suppl. notes. p. 82.
  22. ^ Saint Jerome (2000). Thomas P. Halton (ed.). On Illustrious Men (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 100). CUA Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0813201009.
  23. ^ Arland J. Hultgren; Steven A. Haggmark (1996). The Earliest Christian Heretics: Readings from Their Opponents. Fortress Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0800629632.
  24. ^ Edward Williams B. Nicholson, ed. (1979). The Gospel according to the Hebrews, its fragments tr. and annotated, with a critical analysis of the evidence relating to it, by E. B. Nicholson. [With] Corrections and suppl. notes. p. 26.
  25. ^ Harrison, Everett Falconer (1964). Introduction to the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 152. ISBN 9780802847867.
  26. ^ Edwards, James R. The Hebrew Gospel & the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2009. ISBN 978-0802862341, pp 245-258
  27. ^ a b Watson E. Mills, Richard F. Wilson and Roger Aubrey Bullard, Mercer Commentary on the New Testament, Mercer University Press, ISBN 978-0865548640, 2003, p.942
  28. ^ a b Saint Epiphanius (Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus) (1987). Frank Williams (ed.). The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book I (sects 1-46). BRILL. p. 129. ISBN 9789004079267. What they call a Gospel according to Matthew, though it is not entirely complete, but is corrupt and mutilated — and they call this thing 'Hebrew'!
  29. ^ "On Illustrious Men (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 100)".
  30. ^ Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Lesser Festivals, Commemorations, and Occasions, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 57. Augsburg Fortress.
  31. ^ Quran 3:49–53
  32. ^ Historical Dictionary of Prophets In Islam And Judaism, Brandon M. Wheeler, Disciples of Christ: "Muslim exegesis identifies the disciples as Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon"



General works

External links

Calling of Matthew
Life of Jesus: Ministry Events
Preceded by
Hometown Rejection of Jesus,
"Physician, heal thyself"
   New Testament   
Calling of Matthew

The Calling of Matthew is an episode in the life of Jesus which appears in all three synoptic gospels, Matthew 9:9–13, Mark 2:13–17 and Luke 5:27–28, and relates the initial encounter between Jesus and Matthew, the tax collector who became a disciple.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (Washington, D.C.)

The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington D.C., most commonly known as St. Matthew's Cathedral, is the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. As St. Matthew's Cathedral and Rectory, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.The cathedral is in downtown Washington at 1725 Rhode Island Avenue NW between Connecticut Avenue and 17th Street. The closest Metrorail station is Farragut North, on the Red Line. It is seven blocks north and two blocks west of the White House.

Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is a part of the New Testament apocrypha, and sometimes goes by the name of The Infancy Gospel of Matthew, but the actual name of the text in antiquity was The Book About the Origin of the Blessed Mary and the Childhood of the Savior. Pseudo-Matthew is one of a genre of "Infancy gospels" that seek to fill out the details of the life of Jesus of Nazareth up to the age of 12, which are briefly given in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In the West, it was the dominant source for pictorial cycles of the Life of Mary, especially before the late Middle Ages. According to the research of J. Gijsel / R. Beyers (1997) the archetype of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthews Recensio-α dates to 800 AD and the composition date between 600 and 625 AD. However according to Berthold, the composition date of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is around 650 AD at the earliest, due to the fact that it "shows literary dependence on Vita Agnetis of Pseudo-Ambrose", which itself was used in De Virginitate in 690 AD. Pseudo-Matthew shares many similarities with, and likely used as sources, the apocryphal Gospel of James and Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Mantegna funerary chapel

The Mantegna funerary chapel (Italian - cappella funeraria di Andrea Mantegna) is one of the chapels of the Basilica of Sant'Andrea, Mantua. It houses the tomb of the painter Mantegna and his last two paintings - Baptism of Christ (1506, on the high altar and probably completed by his son Francesco) and Holy Family with St John the Baptist, St Elizabeth and St Zacharias (1504-1506). Its frescoes from 1507 were painted by his sons Ludovico and Francesco and by a young Correggio. The tomb bears a bronze figure of Mantegna by Gianmarco Cavalli.


Matthew may refer to:

Matthew (given name)

Matthew (surname)

Matthew (ship), the ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America

Matthew (album), a 2000 album by rapper Kool Keith

Matthew (elm cultivar), a cultivar of the Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia

Hurricane Matthew, a former hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.

Matthew 24

Matthew 24 is the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the Olivet Discourse spoken by Jesus Christ and his prediction of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Matthew the Apostle composed this Gospel.

Rhode Island Avenue

Rhode Island Avenue is a diagonal avenue in the Northwest and Northeast quadrants of Washington, D.C. and the capital's inner suburbs in Prince George's County, Maryland. Paralleling New York Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue was one of the original streets in Pierre L'Enfant's plan for the capital. Today it is a major commuter route, carrying U.S. Route 1 traffic into the city from Prince George's County.

The western terminus of Rhode Island Avenue is in downtown Washington, at an intersection with Connecticut Avenue and M Street, N.W. The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle is on Rhode Island Avenue, just east of that intersection. Just east of the cathedral, at Scott Circle, Rhode Island Avenue intersects Massachusetts Avenue and 16th Street, N.W. N Street stops short of meeting the circle from either direction, but is instead connected to Rhode Island and Massachusetts avenues through two short streets, Corregidor Street and Bataan Street. From Scott Circle, Rhode Island Avenue continues eastward to the Logan Circle neighborhood. At the traffic circle of the same name, Rhode Island Avenue intersects Vermont Avenue, 13th Street, and P Street, N.W.

East of Logan Circle, Rhode Island passes through primarily residential neighborhoods such as Bloomingdale, Shaw and Brentwood. Rhode Island Avenue is U.S. Route 29 between 7th and 11th streets, N.W., and U.S. Route 1 east of 6th Street, N.W. In Northeast Washington, Rhode Island Avenue is served by the Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood station on the Red Line and the Shaw-Howard University station on the Green Line of the Washington Metro.

In 1926, Rhode Island Avenue was extended from the District line through Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood.In downtown Hyattsville, Rhode Island Avenue merges into Baltimore Avenue (U.S. Highway 1 Alternate). U.S. Highway 1 traffic continues north on Baltimore Avenue. Discontinuous segments of Rhode Island Avenue exist in Riverdale Park, College Park, and Beltsville.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington (or the Archdiocese of Washington) is a particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It comprises the District of Columbia and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and Saint Mary's counties in the state of Maryland. It was originally part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to The Catholic University of America, the only national university operated by the bishops conference of the United States and Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher education in the country.

In addition, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a minor basilica dedicated to the nation's patroness, the Immaculate Conception, is located within and administered by it, and, although it is not the Archdiocesan cathedral (nor even a parish of the Archdiocese), it is the site of its Easter and Christmas Masses. The cathedral of the archdiocese is the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in downtown Washington.

Saint Matthew and the Angel

Saint Matthew and the Angel (1602) is a painting from the Italian master Caravaggio (1571–1610), completed for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. It was destroyed in 1945 and is now known only from black-and-white photographs and enhanced color reproductions.

St. Matthew (Michelangelo)

St. Matthew is a marble sculpture by Michelangelo which depicts Matthew the Apostle. The sculpture dates to 1506 and is held in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.

St Matthew's Church, Burnley

St Matthew's Church is in St Matthew's Street, Burnley, Lancashire, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Blackburn. The original church was built between 1876 and 1879, and was designed by William Waddington and Sons. This burnt down in 1927 and was replaced by the present church. In the 1970s St Matthew's joined with the neighbouring Holy Trinity Church.

St Matthew (Hals)

St. Matthew is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted in 1625 and now in the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Odessa.

The Apostle Matthew

The Apostle Matthew is a c.1618-1620 painting of Matthew the Apostle by the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck. One of its inspirations was probably the series of paintings of the apostles he had seen in his master Rubens' studio around 1610, produced for the Duke of Lerma. The smooth brushwork is consistent with the painter's other works from first period in Antwerp.Around 1914 it and a series of other paintings were acquired from an Italian private collection by the Dutch art dealer Julius Böhler - together the paintings were known as "the Böhler series" after him, though he sold them separately to various museums and private collections.In 2016 Matthew reappearted in the private collection of one Mrs Generet, along with a Self-Portrait by Jacob Jordaens. Both paintings were then donated to the Koning Boudewijnstichting, which put Matthew on long-term loan to the Rubenshuis in Antwerp as the only painting from Van Dyck's apostles series now in Belgium.

The Calling of St Matthew (Caravaggio)

The Calling of Saint Matthew is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him. It was completed in 1599–1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it remains today. It hangs alongside two other paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio, The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (painted around the same time as the Calling) and The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602).

The Four Evangelists (painting)

The Four Evangelists (French: Les quatre évangélistes) is an oil on canvas painting by the Flemish Baroque artist Jacob Jordaens, completed in 1625. The painting is 133 by 118 centimeters. and is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

The Inspiration of Saint Matthew

The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. Commissioned by the French Cardinal Matteo Contarelli, the canvas hangs in Contarelli chapel altar in the church of the French congregation San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, Italy. It is one of three Caravaggio canvases in the chapel: hanging between the larger earlier canvases of The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, and The Calling of Saint Matthew. This was not an easy commission for Caravaggio, and at least two of the three paintings had to be either replaced or repainted to satisfy his patron, the Cardinal Del Monte.

It is instructive to compare the two versions of the latter painting to see how provocative and controversial Caravaggio was in his time. Unfortunately, the first, rejected, version of this theme was destroyed in World War II, and we only have black and white and enhanced color reproductions. In the first version, Saint Matthew and the Angel, the angel stands close to Matthew the Evangelist personal space and engages in what appears more direct intervention than divine inspiration. The angel intertwines with the old man, apparently whispering inspiration into his ear. The rejected painting can be compared to the earlier Caravaggio canvas of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt.

In the work featured on the altar, the angel belongs to an aerial and sublime dimension, enveloped in an encircling rippled sheet. The restless Matthew leans to work, as the angel enumerates for him the work to come. All is darkness but for the two large figures. Matthew appears to have rushed to his desk, his stool teetering into our space. His expression is sober.

It is thought the contemporary styles of Caravaggio and Carracci were at odds with each other, and non overlapping. In this light it is instructive to compare and contrast a similar canvas, by Carracci's pupil, Giovanni Lanfranco presently in Piacenza as well as a painting on a similar theme by Rembrandt.

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (Caravaggio)

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (Italian: Martirio di San Matteo; 1599–1600) is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is located in the Contarelli Chapel of the church of the French congregation San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it hangs opposite The Calling of Saint Matthew and beside the altarpiece The Inspiration of Saint Matthew, both by Caravaggio. It was the first of the three to be installed in the chapel, in July 1600.

The painting shows the martyrdom of Saint Matthew the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Matthew. According to tradition, the saint was killed on the orders of the king of Ethiopia while celebrating Mass at the altar. The king lusted after his own niece, and had been rebuked by Matthew, for the girl was a nun, and therefore the bride of Christ. Cardinal Contarelli, who had died several decades earlier, had laid down very explicitly what was to be shown: the saint being murdered by a soldier sent by the wicked king, some suitable architecture, and crowds of onlookers showing appropriate emotion. (See the article on the Contarelli Chapel).

The commission (which, strictly speaking, was from his patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, rather than from the church itself), caused Caravaggio considerable difficulty, as he had never painted so large a canvas, nor one with so many figures. X-rays reveal two separate attempts at the composition before the one we see today, with a general movement towards simplification through reduction in the number of figures, and reduction – ultimately elimination – of the architectural element.

The figure in the background, about left-centre and behind the assassin, is a self-portrait by Caravaggio.

Vision of St. John on Patmos

The Vision of St. John the Evangelist at Patmos (1520-1522) is a series of frescoes by the Italian late Renaissance artist Antonio Allegri da Correggio. It occupies the interior of the dome, and the relative pendentives, of the Benedictine church of San Giovanni Evangelista of Parma, Italy.

The centre of the cupola is occupied by an illusionistic space based on series of concentric planes indicated by the clouds, from which the apostles stretch out. Starting from the border of the dome, the clouds thin out and open to a shiny light Christ descending towards the floor of the nave. The scene is a faithful rendering of John's Book of Revelation (I,7). The figure of St. John leans from the drum of the dome. This part of the fresco was hidden to the people present in the church, but visible to the monks in the choir and under the dome.

In the four pendentives Correggio painted, coupled, the Four Evangelists and the Four Doctors of the Church. These are:

St. Matthew with an angel;

St. Mark with a winged lion;

St. Luke with an ox;

St. John with an eagleand, respectively,

St. Jerome with the white beard and red garments;

St. Ambrose with a staff;

St. Gregory with the Papal tiara;

St. Augustine portrayed counting together with St. John.

New Testament people
Jesus Christ
Virgin Mary
See also
Seven Archangels
Other Saints

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