In this painting, Paul is depicted under light house arrest as imagined in a reading of Acts 28:30, possibly in the Spring of 62 AD. He is outside of his house but note the chain on one ankle and some of the “seven hills of Rome” in the background. Luke wrote the Book of Acts, but Paul was his major source, and as John believes, a collaborator. Note Colossians 4:14, and 2 Timothy 4:11, which indicate Luke stayed close to Paul even as Paul was moved from house arrest to imprisonment. Acts 27:1-2 explains that Luke was also with Paul during his extraordinary sea voyage to Rome.
Below Paul’s right hand is a scroll, but in front of his left hand is a “codex”– a book with pages. One source indicates the Romans invented the codex between 50-60 AD, so we don’t know whether Acts or any of Paul’s letters were written on scrolls or on codices, thus both are depicted.
If you look closely at the top of Paul’s head, you may discern a “yarmulke,” or head covering, worn by observant Jewish men and sometimes women. We directed the artist to follow the example of Renaissance master Rembrandt van Rijn, whose depiction of “The Apostle Paul” is similarly ambiguous as to whether he wore the Jewish had covering. I believe the Renaissance martyrs were unsure of whether Paul actually covered his head and may have feared harm from the Inquisition for portraying him as still being a Jew (which of course he always was– see Philemon 3:5).
Dimensions: 6.5 ft by 5ft wide