The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew
TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
Oil on canvas, 167 x 139 cm
San Stae, Venice
St. Bartholomew was born in Cana. His name means “son of Tolomai” and scholars believe he is the same person as Nathanael mentioned in John. He was brought to Jesus by the apostle Phillip. After the Ascension of the Lord, he preached the gospel in India where he was martyred in 79 A.D. The exact manner of his death is uncertain, but according to some, he was whipped severely and crucified with his head downward. He is often depicted in art as being whipped and holding in his hand his own skin.
St. Bartholomew is the patron of bookbinders, butchers, corn-chandlers, dyers, glovers, furriers, leather-workers, plasterers, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, vine-growers, and Florentine salt and cheese merchants. He is invoked against nervous disorders and twitchings.