Marinus van Reymerswale: The conversion of saint Matthew 1536


(Museum of fine Art, Gent, Belgium)

A painting by the Dutch artist Marinus van Reymerswale (1490-1546). Van Reymerswale usually painted scenes with tax collectors, lawyers and moneychangers. In this painting he combines his favorite subject, a tax collector, with a biblical scene. According to the Gospel, Matthew was working as a tax collector (a 'publican') at a collection booth in Capernaum when Christ came to him and asked, "Follow me." With this simple call, Matthew became a disciple of Christ

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.
11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
(Matthew 9:9-13)


The apostle Matthew is the man on the right with crossed arms over his chest while Christ stands on the left. Painting from 1536.

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