Oil on canvas
Framed: 129.5 x 107.5 x 10.5 cm (51 x 42 5/16 x 4 1/8 in.); Unframed: 102 x 80.7 cm (40 3/16 x 31 3/4 in.)
Gift of Felix Wildenstein 1929.96
Noël Nicolas Coypel combined two stories associated with Saint James the Greater, one of the twelve apostles of Christ. In the foreground is the magician Hermogenes, begging forgiveness. Hermogenes had cast a spell on James, but the saint turned the curse back on him. When James offered to protect Hermogenes against the demons assaulting him, the magician cast aside his pagan texts in favor of Christianity. According to the second legend, James miraculously cured a paralytic man (in the middle ground at right), thereby averting his own execution and causing the prosecutor to convert. Although this painting is relatively small, the clear composition, grand architectural setting, and dignified and expressive poses of the figures endow it with monumental presence.
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