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Plate of the Conversion of Saint Paul

Conversion of Saint Paul, ceramic plate

№ inv.: CE1/10440

This polychrome ceramic plate, with white tin enamel, has a rectangular oblong shape with bevel-cut corners and is completed by a central crest. The piece belongs to the first half of the 18th century and comes from the Royal Factory of Alcora.

It depicts the scene of the conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle, traditionally depicted in paintings and other art as the saint falling off a horse, although this is not how written sources tell it. The young Saul, was an arrogant soldier who persecuted Christians. One evening, on his way back to Damascus, he was knocked off his horse by a powerful light, while the voice of God asked him: “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul went blind for several days but miraculously regained his sight thanks to the care of the Christian community. He converted and adopted the name Paul.

The scene on the plate represents the moment in which the divine light appears to him. Among the rays of light appeared the following inscription: “Saule, Saule Cur me per//sequer” (“Saul, Saul, why doest thou persecute me”).

Apart from tableware, the ceramics factory of Alcora also manufactured a large number of decorative objects, such as ceramic plates decorated with fruit, figurines, decorative table centrepieces and panels bearing religious or mythological themes, such as this piece. The engravers' work played an important role in prominent models and those depicting scenes (called "narrative" by the factory). Some have been identified by the engraving that served as a model for the painting of the ceramic work.

On display in the Sala de la Lumbrera (Lantern Room), second floor.

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