The Contarelli Chapel

  • Amarens Roman - Faculty of Medicine
  • Tammo Severin - Faculty of Behavioral and social sciences
  • Peter Vermazeren - Faculty of Law

The Saint Matthew Cycle Caravaggio The Counter Reformation St. Matthew
The Contarelli Chapel

In order to being able to understand the trilogy of St. Matthews, one has to examine the context in which the three paintings are presented. The Contarelli Chapel is located at San Luigi dei Francesi, the national church of the French in Rome. It was purchased by Mathieu Cointrel (ital. Matteo Contarelli) in 1565 in order to function as his resting place.

Contarelli had left quite detailed and accurate notes in the contract referring to how the chapel should be illustrated. He wanted the chapel to be dedicated to his name-saint St. Matthew, depicting scenes of the apostle's life.[1]


  1. "Caravaggio: a life sacred and profane" Andrew Graham-Dixon p. 232-239