The painting illustrates martyrdom and physical torment. The almost naked apostle Bartholomew looks at us helplessly, while a sadistic drunken executioner delightedly flays him. On the ground, a classical sculpture, which has been identified as the god Baldach, and in the background two priests, their heads covered, are witnesses to the torture. The painting follows the text by Jacobus de Voragine in the 'Golden Legend', which is the Christian version of the fable of the satyr Marsyas, who suffered the same punishment as Saint Bartholomew. This is an extraordinary work demonstrating the excellent art of 'Lo Spagnoletto'. Before entering the MNAC it belonged to the illustrator Alexandre de Riquer.


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