Saint Bartholomew – Museum of Art – Birmingham (Alabama)

The panel depicting Saint Bartholomew was part of the Polyptych of Sant’Agostino, a majestic two-faced altarpiece commissioned by the Augustinian friars and realized in two phases by Perugino, between 1503 and 1523, the year of his death; according to the reconstruction, the painting was on the back of the Polyptych, on the part facing the choir of the Church. The Polyptych was dismembered in 1683; in 1797, during the French requisitions, various parts were transported to France: the table of Saint Bartholomew, instead, is preserved at the Birmingham Museum of Art, in Alabama.

Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, holds his iconographic attribute, a knife, in his right hand: the saint was in fact martyred by being flayed alive. In his left hand he holds a tome, while he stares at the spectator.

Mirroring the figure of the Young Saint with a sword, today at the Musée du Louvre, St Bartholomew is also portrayed half-length in front of a high balustrade with classical architecture.

The work is preserved at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama.

Perugino, Saint Bartholomew, 1503/1512 ca., panel, 89 x 72 cm, Birmingham (Alabama), Museum of Art