Painting of the Week: The Stoning of St. Stephen

This early painting by the Dutch artist Rembrandt beautifully displays the brutality of St. Stephen’s stoning, found in Acts 7.

In the background, you can see the man who became the apostle Paul holding the mob’s tunics.

Rembrandt uses chiaroscuro (contrasting dark and light) to show Stephen’s face, turned toward heaven, while many of his murderers are obscured in shadow.

But Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked toward heaven, where he saw our glorious God and Jesus standing at his right side. Then Stephen said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God!” — Acts 7:55–56 (CEV)

Artist: Rembrandt

Year: 1625

Location: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, France


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