Martyrdom of St. Stephen - Giorgio Vasari. 300x163
The artist, architect and art historian Vasari in painting proved himself to be an adherent of mannerism, that is, art that replaced the High Renaissance. Facial expressions and movements of the characters of this canvas, on which depicting the stoning of St. Stephenare full of expression. The torturers standing in a crowd wave their stones to throw them at the saint, and Stephen, raising his eyes to heaven and spreading his arms, prays passionately. The enlightened face of the saint is contrasted with the hatred faces of the Gentiles. The clash of active action and spiritual promise creates a special tension in the work.
The elongated, flexible bodies of the characters, thanks to their poses and gestures, form a complex, sometimes whimsical drawing, characteristic of the painting of the mannerists who sought to expressive lines and colors. The art of these masters was intended primarily to awaken in praying sympathy. In the lower right corner, Vasari placed a young man pointing to what was happening, urging him to admire the saint’s fortitude, although Stephen’s appearance attracts the look of a person looking at the picture, and everything depicted on it can hardly leave anyone indifferent.