Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Saint Romanus of Antioch and Saint Barulas

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664)

About this artwork

Francisco de Zurbarán excelled at painting altarpieces that presented saints in an accessible manner, as required by the conventions of the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s effort to oppose the Protestant Reformation and revitalize Catholicism. Catholic reformers emphasized that religious painting should offer easily recognizable figures and narratives in order to be accessible to a contemporary audience. This canvas, made for the high altar of the church of San Román in Seville, Spain, depicts the church’s dedication to Saint Romanus of Antioch. Romanus towers over Saint Barulas, a child of seven, who was inspired to martyrdom by the elder saint’s words. Romanus, himself martyred in 303 under the emperor Diocletian, holds up his own tongue, torn out by his tormentors, and grasps a massive book inscribed with a prayer invoking his intercession on behalf of the faithful.


On View, Gallery 211


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Francisco de Zurbarán


Saint Romanus of Antioch and Saint Barulas


Spain (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Inscribed, lower right: 1638


246.5 × 185.4 cm (97 1/16 × 73 in.); Framed: 272.4 × 212.1 × 10.2 cm (153 1/2 × 97 × 4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Chauncey McCormick and Mrs. Richard E. Danielson

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions