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Rubens here exploits the full drama of the sudden conversion to Christianity of the Roman soldier Paul on the road to Damascus. The scene is set at night to heighten the impact of Christ’s appearance among the clouds. Horses and riders scatter whilst two soldiers tend Paul, blinded by divine light. The dramatic lighting and compressed composition are typical of Rubens’ work immediately following his return from Italy in 1608.

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

London

Title

Conversion of Saint Paul

Date

1610–1612

Medium

oil on panel

Measurements

H 95.2 x W 120.7 cm

Accession number

P.1978.PG.357

Acquisition method

Princes Gate bequest, 1978

Work type

Painting

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The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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