The Conversion of Saint Paul

Object Details

Title:

The Conversion of Saint Paul

Artist/Maker(s):

Wolf Huber (German, 1480/1485 - 1553)

Culture:

German

Date:

1531

Medium:

Pen and black ink

Dimensions:

18.3 x 12.9 cm (7 3/16 x 5 1/16 in.)

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By juxtaposing Saint Paul's traumatic collapse with a poetic landscape setting, Wolf Huber heightened the inherent tension in one of the Bible's most dramatic stories. The idyllic atmosphere, the main figure's placement on a foreground stage, the large tree with abundant foliage, the delicate rendering of a mountainous background, and the elaborate, billowing drapery are all hallmarks of Huber's drawings. Possibly a preparatory sketch for a print, this drawing displays fine gradations of line that suggest light, texture, and space and show the influence of Albrecht Dürer. This sheet probably originally included God the Father and additional angels above the dove of the Holy Spirit but was cut down.

One of Christianity's most ruthless oppressors, Saul was traveling to Damascus when a heavenly light struck him blind and Jesus spoke to him. Jesus commanded to take Christianity to non-Jews, and for the next thirty years, he was a pillar of the new Christian church within the Roman Empire. Marking his conversion, Saul became known as Paul, and the story of his conversion became a popular illustration of God's grace towards all people, even the least deserving.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (62)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (68)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
German and Swiss Drawings from the Permanent Collection (June 6 to August 20, 2000) (68)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 6 to August 20, 2000
Drawing the Landscape: 1500 - 1800 (January 23 to April 15, 2001) (68)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 23 to April 15, 2001
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012) (68)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012
Hatched! Creating Form with Line (March 11 to June 1, 2014) (68)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 11 to June 1, 2014