Bartholomew, an apostle of Jesus, is the first group of three apostles starting from the left (Jesus’s right hand) in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper.
This follower of Jesus, according to legend, had a horrific death while on mission to India. One legend tells how he was skinned alive and hung upside down. Another is he was beheaded.
Saint Bartholomew’s statue is the most famous of all the statues in the Milan Cathedral. It’s called Saint Bartholomew Flayed by Renaissance sculptor Marco d’Agrate, 1562.
It’s a statue of Saint Bartholomew holding his own skin.
I was drawn to this statue in the cathedral, not because I knew anything about it, but because it was just so different from all the other statues. I thought the wrapping he wore was a cloth. What I didn’t understand was why the statue looked like it should have been in a medical museum, not in a cathedral!
Now I understand…..
Knowing what I know now….I have a new appreciation for this fantastic sculpture! It’s just so morbid but magnificent!!