The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew

(Italian, 1571–1610)
Framed: 233.5 x 184 x 12 cm (91 15/16 x 72 7/16 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 202.5 x 152.7 cm (79 3/4 x 60 1/8 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Although Saint Andrew is typically associated with an X-shaped cross, here he is depicted on a standard vertical cross.


Saint Andrew’s efforts to introduce Christianity to Greece in the first century CE were met with hostility from local authorities. He was sentenced to die on the cross because he refused to acknowledge pagan gods. For two days, Andrew preached from his martyr’s station to an increasingly sympathetic crowd. Bowing to public demand, Andrew’s would-be executioners attempted to untie him, but their hands were mysteriously paralyzed. Andrew’s desire for martyrdom was thus fulfilled and he died enveloped in divine light. Caravaggio’s innovative interpretation involves the viewer more closely in the event by presenting the crucifixion as intimate and private, rather than as a gruesome public spectacle. Bold contrasts of light and dark suggest the presence of God. A masterpiece of Baroque painting, Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew is the only altarpiece by the artist in America.
The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew

The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew



(Italian, 1571–1610)
Italy, Naples


Caravaggio and the Story of Saint Andrew

Caravaggio's Turbulent Career

Was this always thought to be a Caravaggio?

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.