Saint Thomas (1618 – 1620) by Diego Velazquez

Saint Thomas - Diego Velazquez - 1618 - 1620

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Artwork Information

TitleSaint Thomas
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Date1618 - 1620
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMusée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans, Orleans, France

About Saint Thomas

The artwork entitled “Saint Thomas” was created by the renowned artist Diego Velazquez between 1618 and 1620. This religious painting, rendered in oil on canvas, is a prime example of the Baroque art movement. The piece is part of the collection at the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Orléans in Orleans, France.

The artwork depicts Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, captured in a moment of contemplation or possibly introspection. He is portrayed with a strong sense of realism, a characteristic of Velazquez’s approach to painting. The apostle’s face is marked by deep concentration, with his gaze directed downwards and away from the viewer, suggesting a moment of profound thought or spiritual engagement.

Thomas holds a spear, which is an attribute often associated with his martyrdom, in one hand, and what appears to be a book or a group of bound pages in the other, indicating his role as a teacher and his connection to the Christian scriptures. The dark backdrop serves to highlight the figure, with the meticulous use of light and shadow enhancing the three-dimensionality of the form and the tactile quality of the folds in his robe. The warm, earthy tones dominate the painting, and the text “TOMAS” inscribed at the top of the canvas confirms the identity of the saint.

The composition is steeped in the dramatic contrasts and emotional intensity typical of the Baroque period, showing Velazquez’s skill in portraying human emotion and devotional fervor through this powerful and solemn representation of Saint Thomas.

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