The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Caravaggio) - Framed Print
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Caravaggio) - Framed Print

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Caravaggio) - Framed Print

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The Incredulity of Saint Thomas is a painting of the subject of the same name. It is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, c. 1601-1602. There are two autograph versions of Caravaggio's The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, an ecclesiastical "Trieste" version for Girolamo Mattei (Giovanni Baglione) which is now in a private collection and a secular "Potsdam" version for Vincenzo Giustiniani (Pietro Bellori) that later entered the Royal Collection of Prussia, survived the Second World War unscathed, and can now be admired in the Palais at Sanssouci, Potsdam.[1]

It shows the episode that gave rise to the term "Doubting Thomas" which, formally known as the Incredulity of Thomas, had been frequently represented in Christian art since at least the 5th century, and used to make a variety of theological points. According to the Gospel of John, Thomas the Apostle missed one of Jesus's appearances to the Apostles after his resurrection, and said "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."[2] A week later, Jesus appeared and told Thomas to touch him and stop doubting. Then Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."[3]

The two pictures show in a demonstrative gesture how the doubting apostle puts his finger into Christ's side wound, the latter guiding his hand. The unbeliever is depicted like a peasant, dressed in a robe torn at the shoulder and with dirt under his fingernails. The composition of the picture is such that the viewer is directly involved in the event and feels the intensity of the process.[4]

It should also be noted that in the ecclesiastical version of the unbelieving Thomas, Christ's thigh is covered, whereas in the secular version of the painting, Christ's thigh is visible.

The light falling on Christ emphasises his physicality and at the same time suggests his divinity and significance to the viewer. Caravaggio was a master of light and shadow, and he uses this chiaroscuro to create a narrative through line in this piece. The shadows (representing doubt) sweep over St. Thomas, but as he touches Christ he is drawn into the light. As always, Caravaggio's work brings biblical scenes to life in a way that all the pageantry in the world cannot. It is an imaginative and moving approach to the subject that also underlines Caravaggio's artistic mastery. The two autograph works of Caravaggio's Unblinking Thomas differ in that Christ's thigh is uncovered in the Potsdam secular version and covered by the white cloak in the Trieste ecclesiastical version. The Potsdam painting has already been restored and is also in warmer tones, somewhat smaller in size, the folds of the red robe are missing at the bottom, the space above the heads is smaller and Christ's elbow is cut off.

• Ayous wood .75″ (1.9 cm) thick frame from renewable forests
• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil (0.26 mm)
• Paper weight: 189 g/m²
• Lightweight
• Acrylite front protector
• Hanging hardware included
• Blank product components in the US sourced from Japan and the US
• Blank product components in the EU sourced from Japan and Latvia

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