Commissioned by religious and secular institutions and individuals, and produced between 1300
and 1600 in the leading artistic centers of Western Europe, the works in this gallery reflect the growing diversity of patronage at the time. Among the artists represented are Neri di Bicci, Paul Bril, Michiel Coxcie, Domenichino, Maarten van Heemskerck, and Jacopo Ligozzi, as well as a selection of French and Flemish tapestries.
The small panel painting by Herri met de Bles is one of the earliest examples of in Netherlandish painting of the theme of the conversion of Saul. Christ appears in the sky as Saul tumbles from his horse in the foreground of a vast panorama seen from a bird's-eye view. The artist was well known for this type of painting - landscapes with a wealth of detail, which usually included a narrative religious scene - that combined late medieval piety with a new Renaissance interest in the physical world. In Italy, the artist was known as "Civetta" (little owl) because of his habit of inserting this bird somewhere in the landscape; in the AMAM painting, one charmingly eyes the viewer in the foreground.
Herri met de Bles (Netherlandish, born ca. 1510)
Landscape with the Conversion of Saul on the Road to Damascus, ca. 1545
Oil on panel
R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund