Author: Giovanni Carboncino
Century: 17th century
Technique: Oil on canvas
Location: Central nave, eleventh left arch (in the plan No. 17)
In this painting, the Carmelite saint is brutally killed while preaching from the pulpit of the Church of San Filippo and Giacomo in the city of Licata, in front of the crowd of Christians who gathered to listen to him. In the foreground, a multitude of terrified people can be seen, either standing in the act of fleeing or fallen to the ground, men and women turning their gaze towards the elevated pulpit where the deadly attack on the Saint takes place, from which he vainly tries to escape. The lethal violence is carried out by a young man, followed by others, raising a sword to stab him. The assassins were sent by a Bavarian named Berengario, who sought revenge for being publicly admonished by the Saint several times for his licentious life and incestuous relationship with his sister. The murder is said to have taken place around 1220. In the foreground, a young woman is depicted from behind, bravely raising her arm as if trying to prevent the assassination. The scene takes place in a church, which the artist depicts with the succession of vaults and a vast dome in classical perspective. The architecture itself adds to the sense of tragedy, with its towering height, architectural and environmental development, seemingly extending into the nave through the widening of the arches and its space serving as an element of existential estrangement.