Tiepolo's St. Patrick Altarpiece
This magnificent adaptation of Tiepolo's work develops a vivid pallet of colors and depicts a noble St. Patrick, well advanced in years and yet not diminished in strength or dignity.
Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland. The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty, but there is general agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the fifth century. Early medieval tradition credits him with being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, and regards him as the founder of Christianity in Ireland.
When he was about sixteen, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, he lived there for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.