Little is known of the life or acts of Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles. The Golden Legend records the tradition that Bartholomew preached in India and Armenia after Christâ€™s resurrection. It was in Armenia that the saint was martyred by being flayed alive. His attribute in art, as shown here, is typically a knife, the instrument of his death.
The saint is shown standing within an architectural interior with a paneled ceiling, leaded windows, tiled floor, and a hanging cloth embellished with stars. The artist has not yet been identified, though his slightly expressionistic style and jagged, irregular drapery folds, as well as the border decoration, are typical of Flemish manuscript painting around the mid-1400s.