Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

The Angel Appears to the Centurion Cornelius

Jacob Adriaensz. Backer was highly regarded in Amsterdam for his portraits and history paintings. In this infrequently portrayed scene from the Book of Acts, an angel appears to a devout Roman centurion, who is soon converted to Christianity by St. Peter. Backer is believed to have worked in Rembrandt’s studio in the early 1630s, and the composition of this painting reveals Rembrandt’s influence in its realistic manner and in the exotic Eastern costume worn by the centurion.

Jacob Adriaensz. Backer
Dutch, 1608–1651
The Angel Appears to the Centurion Cornelius
ca. 1630–1635
Oil on canvas
46 ¼ x 40 in. (117.5 x 101.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Partial gift of Henry Radford Hope, 86.7